Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sarah Palin - Wasilla Mayor 1996 – 2002


Mayoral Campaign Born

In this doodle on the back of a budget document, then Councilwoman Palin outlined her nascent mayoral campaign (H/T Kenton L). Click photo for full-size image. Notice the “time for change” written in the upper left-hand corner. As Gov. Palin pointed out in Going Rogue, “we were change, before change was cool.”

Executive Summary

During her two three-year terms as Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin developed her executive and administrative experience, and put her Transformational Leadership skills to the test. Sarah Palin won her Mayoral election with 75% of the vote in a three-way race (Palin, 2009, p. 80). The Mayor’s position of Wasilla is a CEO type job over a multimillion dollar entity (Palin, 2009, p. 69).

1996 AP/Mat-Su Frontiersman photo of Mayor Palin

Reagan Conservatism/Tax Reduction:

  • Cut taxes
  • Eliminated small-business inventory taxes
  • Eliminated property taxes
  • Eliminated business license renewal fees
  • Cut the real estate property tax mil levy during each year in office
  • Did not support proposed city-wide smoking ban

(Palin, 2009, p. 78)

Infrastructure Development:

  • Built and paved roads
  • Extended water and sewer lines
  • Paved runway at Wasilla Municipal Airport
  • City bond financed by half-cent sales tax to build Curtis Menard Jr. Multi-Use Sports Center

(Palin, 2009, p. 78)

Wasilla became a major commercial center under Mayor Palin. Established small businesses grew, and major national chains opened their doors in Wasilla.

Transformational Leadership:

“This gets at my approach to management. I have a bulletin board filled with coffee-stained dog-eared quotes tacked up along with family photos that has followed me from office to office since 1992. One of my favorite quotes comes from author and former football coach Lou Holtz, on how to build your team: “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” (Palin, 2009, p. 79).

  • Fired police chief who refused cut department budget and who attempted to undermine Palin’s Mayoralty.
  • Requested letters of resignation from all department heads to keep on file. Only two complied.

President, Alaska Conference of Mayors

  • Led dozens of other mayors in dealing with statewide issues, such as municipal revenue sharing, and advocating for local control government.

(Palin, 2009, p. 80)


“We have to work twice as hard to prove we’re half as capable as men think they are….thankfully, it’s not that difficult” (Palin, 2009, p. 80)

Photo Courtesy Kathryn DiFrancesco

From an interview with Amanda Gragert for Capital City Weekly’s (CCW) Spring 2007 publication of Women in Business:

“Our receptionist was at lunch and I sat there answering the phones in the mayor’s office and a guy walks by and says, ‘You’re way too young to be the mayor’s secretary.’ He didn’t know who the mayor was and he thought I was too young to be the secretary. I thought, ‘That’s so cute,’ and I didn’t even correct him and say, ‘I am the mayor.’”

H/T Joe Silva for CCW quote.

Powers and Duties of the Mayor of Wasilla

The 10 Powers and Duties of the Mayor of Wasilla are delineated the Wasilla Municipal Code, Chapter 2.16, Section .020:

A. The mayor is the chief administrator of the city, has the same powers and duties as those of a manager under AS 29.20.005, and shall:

  1. Preside at council meetings. The mayor may take part in the discussion of matters before the council,
    but may not vote, except that the mayor may vote in the case of a tie;
  2. Act as ceremonial head of the city;
  3. Sign documents on behalf of the city;
  4. Appoint, suspend or remove city employees and administrative officials, except as provided otherwise in AS Title 29 and the Wasilla Municipal Code;
  5. Supervise the enforcement of city law and carry out the directives of the city council;
  6. Prepare and submit an annual budget and capital improvement program for consideration by the council, and execute the budget and capital program as adopted;
  7. Make monthly financial reports and other reports on city finances and operations as required by the council;
  8. Exercise legal custody over all real and personal property of the city;
  9. Perform other duties required by law or by the council; and
  10. Serve as personnel officer, unless the council authorizes the mayor to appoint a personnel officer.

Sarah Palin, then Mayor of Wasilla, AK participated in the 5th Annual Alaska Ladies Charity Classic sporting clays shoot Saturday June 3, 2000, as documented in this famous file photo of her reloading an over-under double-barrel shotgun. The photo was taken by Erik Hill of the Anchorage Daily News (Potosky, 2008).

“The Alaska Ladies Charity Shotgun Classic, is a non-competitive, ladies only 50 target sporting clays event for both novice and experienced shooters” (Grouse Ridge, 2009, p. 2). The Shotgun Classic is “[a] fun event to give women and their families an introduction to enjoy the shooting sports and the outdoors and to raise money for breast cancer awareness.” At the shoot, she wore a jacket with Wasilla’s City Seal emblazoned on it, suggesting that she attended as Mayor, not a private citizen.


2009 Alaska Ladies Charity Shotgun Classic & Couples Fun Shoot. (2009). Grouse Ridge Shooting Grounds. Retrieved September 22, 2009 from:

Spielberger, K. (2007). “So long, Sarah”. Capital City Weekly. Retrieved from:

Palin, S. L. H. (2009). Going Rogue: An American Life. (New York: Harper). pp. 69-81.

Document Central. (n.d.). City of Wasilla. Retrieved July 4, 2010 from:

Potosky, J. (2008, August 29). “Sarah Palin NRA Life Member, Fisherman and Hunter.” The Lost Target. Retrieved September 22, 2009 from:

What are the Duties of the Mayor of Wasilla? (n.d.). Document Central. City of Wasilla. Retrieved July 4, 2010 from:

Article written by Ron Devito

Editor and Publisher, US for Palin; LAN Infrastructure PM; IFR PPL; fishing, shooting.

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1 comment:

Ted said...


Governor Palin is a courageous person, no doubt. In view of her massive following, if she would simply, briefly, tweet about the upcoming case before the US Supreme Court next week, it would change the course of American history.

November 23, 2010 marks a fork in the road for the future of America of more than historic proportions — perhaps on par with events leading to the Civil War. To date, virtually all federal and state courts where actions have been brought seeking decision on the meaning of the Constitution’s Article 2 “natural born citizen” clause as a prerequisite for Barack Obama to be a lawful President and Commander in Chief of the United States (Mr. Obama having been born to a father of British/Kenyan nationality and father not a citizen of the United States), have been shut down, never getting beyond the issue of standing. To date, courts have very strategically (narrowly if not artfully) characterized and applied law and legal procedure steadfastly to prevent the question from ever rising to the merits — this on a host of different types and classes of plaintiffs, causes and defendants — admittedly under the most intensely implicit (if not more) pressure to do the same.

The national media (some say our 4th branch of government) has aided and abetted the avoidance by mischaracterizing this as a “Hawaii birth” a/k/a “birther” issue which is nothing more than a “red herring” in that the issue for Article 2 “natural born citizen” is Mr. Obama’s father. Moreover, the legal community has aided and abetted the avoidance by mischaracterizing the 1898 Supreme Court Case, Wong Kim Arc, which dealt with the meaning of “citizenship”, not the meaning of “natural born citizen” under Article 2.

November 23, 2010 may very well be the last chance for the Judicial Branch realistically to take up the issue, this on a case of legal standing solidly presented by Attorney Apuzzo and Commander Kerchner. If the Court finds no standing here, by a narrow interpretation of the same or otherwise, coming after all the rest of the “no standing” cases, it is doubtfull this important Constitutional issue can and will be resolved in any court of law. The question will nevertheless continue to fester, at tremendous national cost, never to abate, potentially to reach crisis stage, and in any event to undermine the structure of our Constitutional Republic.

It is more than chilling and says volumes that NOT ONE member of Congress will publicly speak on this or, better yet, since the Congress of the United States has more than a vested interest, opine if not as a “friend of the court” at the Supreme Court, in the court of public opinion — BEFORE the Supreme Court convenes on November 23, 2010.

The world is (should be) watching!