It’s the obvious question for candidates fighting to succeed any termed-out chief executive who didn’t do something terrible like get indicted: Are you simply Mayor So-and-So’s third term?
Swearengin got lucky when she ran in 2008. We all pretty much knew the economy was tanking and that Alan Autry in the go-go days had amassed a pile of lethal debt. No one was talking about a “third Autry term” full of stuff like No Neighborhood Left Behind and Parking Garage bonds.
It’s different in 2016
The odd thing for the campaign is that the candidates, in order to answer the question, will have to come up with a shorthand analysis of Swearengin’s seven-plus years in office. For me, they can be summed up with one word: Messianic.
This “we can move mountains” theme manifests itself in the Swearengin Era through plans. We’ve got plans coming out of our ears.
As an example, here’s an excerpt from the 2035 general plan that was begun and completed during Swearengin’s watch:
“The Plan also addresses a number of important community concerns, including:
- High concentrated poverty, high unemployment, and extreme disparities in quality-of-life circumstances and opportunities in different parts of the city
- Neglected and disinvested established neighborhoods and Downtown Planning
- Poor air quality, and environmental and community health issues
- Residential growth patterns that negatively impact natural resources and deplete
strategic farmland and
- Fiscal instability related to the city’s existing spread-out urban form and land use inefficiencies.”
Now, I understand that such grand language is part and parcel of The Leviathan’s mindset. But make no mistake, Fresnans have been led to believe that City Hall can fix all the bad things described in that paragraph. All it takes is the time and money and power to make everything planned by Swearengin come to fruition.
Will Brand, Perea and Spees promise to continue the Crusade?