Monday, 25 January 2010

Sarah Palin's executive experience - Part I

Wasilla seems to be a fascinating place. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Wasilla itself cannot be described as a beautiful city. It has a very small population, around 10,000 in 2008. In 2000 the population was even smaller: 5,469. Four years before that, Sarah Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla, a part-time position.

So started her "executive" career. Sarah Palin hired a city administrator to run Wasilla. She must have found it too much hard work and needed some help.

The duties of Wasilla's mayor are more circumscribed than those of many other mayors in the United States. The mayor of Wasilla supervises the police department, which was created three years before Palin took office, the public works department, the parks and recreation department, a planning office, a library and a small history museum. Firefighting and schools are handled by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough government, and the state government handles social services and environmental regulation, such as storm water management for building projects.

In 2008, the mayor of Wasilla Dianne Keller gave an interview:

Jason Jones: Do you think being a small-town Mayor prepares you to be president of the United States? Mayor Dianne Keller: An unequivocal yes. JJ: How? Mayor: How? JJ: Let's say you have a problem with the fire department? What would you do? Mayor: The city of Wasilla doesn't manage the fire department. JJ: Ok, fine. Let's say there's something wrong with the school system? Mayor: We don't do the school system. JJ: Just pick any social service. Mayor: We don't do social services in Wasilla... JJ: Um, what do you do? Major: What do we do in Wasilla? JJ: Take me through the Mayor of Wasilla's day. Mayor: (nod, nod, nod), Just different, different things on different, well Mondays at 10 o'clock we always have a staff meeting, and then, um, um, (long pause) every Thursday is a check-signing day, so I sign all the checks for the city of Wasilla--pay the bills...

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I noticed that the mayor of Wasilla supervises the police department. For a small town, the crime figures don't look very encouraging.

wasilla crime

Sarah Palin couldn't manage one department very effectively. Running the United States is a tad more complex than that.

We'll look into how running the state of Alaska enhanced Sarah Palin's qualifications for the "big job" in a future post.

So far, it's not looking too good.


Enjoy these pictures of Wasilla.

For more pictures, please visit Wasilla Alaska by 300.

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