David's Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

Applauding Mayor Ness' Leadership

Mayor Ness is immersed in a valuable educational growth experience. He can appreciate and take comfort in former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's view that, "Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater." There is no education like adversity.

In his first six months as mayor, Don Ness has been buffeted by the City's unfolding and compounding financial and operational challenges. The most recent of which is the realization that, unless he takes immediate corrective action, the City's will experience an operating deficit in 2008 of $4.4 million.

To his credit, Mayor Ness quickly developed, and is implementing, a comprehensive budget repair strategy to eliminate the deficit within the next six months. It includes 120 different strategies, from closing city departments, eliminating staffing, cutting services and finding operational efficiencies. It is a bold, ambitious - and necessary - plan.

Here is where we, as chamber members and citizens of our beloved Zenith City, would do well to support Mayor Ness and his plan - all of it. Our community can overcome this challenge if we have the courage and the discipline to allow our mayor and city councilors to implement the budget repair strategies.

Our most effective call to action may well be to not take action against the repair plan, and to allow the mayor to proceed with his repair strategies. Ideally, we will also articulate to the mayor that we look with favor upon his bold beginning. Mayor Ness can be reached at dness@ci.duluth.mn.us.

Mayor Ness would be delighted if we simply allow him to do the work we elected and entrusted him to do. He is challenging the status quo. He is rising to meet the City's multiple challenges. I, for one, support and applaud him. I encourage you to do the same.

Seeing opportunity in this challenge,

David Ross

posted by David Ross at

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