WaPo: As Mayor, Palin Cut Own Duties And Left Trail Of Bad Blood
- Her six years as Wasilla mayor, from 1996-2002, represents the bulk of her political experience.
- “The universe of the mayor of Wasilla is sharply circumscribed even by the standards of small towns, which limited Palin’s exposure to issues such as health care, social services, the environment and education.”
- Firefighting and schools are handled by a regional government, and many government services are subsidized by oil revenues.
- Palin limited her duties by hiring a local administrator for day-to-day management.
- Palin downplayed the demands of the job saying, “It’s not rocket science. It’s $6 million and 53 employees. “
- Darlene Langell, “an arch conservative” who was on the city council during Palin’s first term as mayor says, “I was happy in a way, because it is a new beginning for the country, but also I am very worried due to her lack of experience.”
- Palin asked for resignations as tests of loyalty. She clashed with police chiefl Irl Stambaugh because he opposed state legislation to allow people to carry guns into banks and bars. Newsweek has more on the Stambaugh firing.
- Town librarian Mary Ellen Emmons was asked three times during Palin’s first week on the job if she would agree to ban controversial books. After saying she would not, Emmons was fired, but reinstated because of a public uproar.
- Public officials were told not to talk to the press.
- The fired public works director was replaced with someone who lacked engineering experience, but happened to be married to an aide to a former Republican govenror. A former state Replublican lawyer was made city attorney.
- A Washington lobbyist was hired for $38,000 a year to help secure earmarks. The town receieved $27 million in earmarks during her tenure.
- Former city attorney Richard Deuser says, “The only accomplishment of note was the building of the sports complex . . . and it was bungled.” That’s because ownership of the land was in dispute and settling that case cost the city $1.3 million.
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