Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet Mayor Hazel McCallion - what an inspiration she is!

I've been following the career of Hazel McCallion for a couple of years now. She's the Mayor of  Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (the 6th largest city in Canada, the 3rd largest city in Ontario). She doesn't campaign, her approval rate is 92% (2009).  Two video interviews with her you may enjoy:  Welcome to Mississauga, Mercer Report 2/26/09, and  89-year old mayor's success story, CNN 6/25/10. During the recession her city is still debt free ($0 debt), but $700 million in reserves have been spent down (they're working on installing  an major transit system). Her city has grown from being a strawberry and apple picking "small town" into a larger industrial and commercial city, with a working plan for the future.

Mississauga could or would never be the model for Pacifica since 60% of our land is now unproductive
"open space" where not even a "dog park" may reside.  That's right, Pacifica is destine to never grow outside its now smaller boundary limitations. And, without a plan to avert the affects of rising oceans, eventually Pacifica will surely drop-off into the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, there are lessons of city council planning, city management, and accountability to be learned. 

Hazel McCallion is the extraordinary exception to the political "get it done" necessity for "term limits". She was elected to Mayor of Mississauga 32 years ago (1978), and one thing she has in common with our existing Pacifica city council is that she intends to die in office of old age.

Hazel McCallion is again running for re-election this Fall. Think she's too old to do the job? Maybe, but her legacy is huge, including  runner-up the amazing cities World Mayor Award (2004).  Her governance philosophy is we run our city like a business, text from 2/1/04.  Greetings 2010 from the Mayor's office for a happy, healthy and prosperous year, that's the promise Mayor Hazel McCallion has made and kept for residents and businesses of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada for 32 years!

Submitted by Kathy Meeh

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