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    Rebel Territory: Sanger, CA
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       State Parties -> America's Party of California

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    April 13, 2011

     

    By: Serafin Quintanar

     

    This last November, it seems that the Tea Party tsunami that swept many new conservatives into Washington, DC and into many statehouses across the country stopped at the Rocky Mountains.  Since then, we’ve seen the conservative ascendancy in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.  Pro-liberty movements have also blossomed in, of all places, the Middle East (at least we hope they are pro-liberty).  However, that wave seemed to have left the West coast firmly in the hands of the axis of socialism; democrats, unions, environmentalists and even a handful of appeasers on the right side of the isle.  Although that is generally true, it is not an absolute.

     

    There is at least one bastion of liberty that emerged from last year’s election; the neglected and nondescript town of Sanger, CA.  You see, the good people of Sanger, of which 83% are Hispanic and with some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the state and the nation, elected a city council that saw fit to select Joshua Mitchell, a staunch conservative, as their new mayor.  This may not seem like a huge deal, but when you read about the astonishing feats that Mayor Mitchell and the city council have accomplished in just a few short months, you will be instilled with new vigor for the conservative movement and see how much can be done when our elected officials stand on principle and have the resolve to do the right thing, regardless of the political consequences.

     

    With all the recent news about unions and collective bargaining, let’s examine what Mayor Mitchell has managed to do to reduce costs associated with union labor in Sanger.  To preface his solution, it should be noted that Sanger was paying the highest salaries for many department heads in Fresno County, even more than Fresno, the largest city in the county!  (Bell wasn’t the only city in California that was overpaying its “public servants”)

     

    Obviously, this had to be changed.   So, Mayor Mitchell had the unions put their MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) up for a vote before the council.  The council voted it down.  Then the Mayor did something that is often heard in the rhetoric and pandering of politicians when running for office, but not put into practice.  He told various departments to make concessions or have their department privatized.  The results were what conservatives have always known; the unions backed down and conceded rather than be completely forced out of the equation.

     

    This act of political courage alone would be more than enough to secure Mayor Mitchell’s conservative credentials, but there is much more.  Mayor Mitchell isn’t just looking out for his constituent’s pocket books, he is also looking out for their physical safety.  Recently, there was a rash of driveby shootings, included one dangerously near a school.  Sanger was facing one of the biggest rises in violence in recent memory.  Mayor Mitchell knew that the Sanger PD needed some help to rein in gang activity, so he called in for help from Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer and the Fresno PD.  In one weekend, the Fresno PD swept through Sanger and made 41 felony arrests.  There was not one act of violence reported during that weekend and things have settled down since then.  This action was not without controversy, however.  Mayor Mitchell may have ruffled some feathers and bruised a few egos at the Sherriff’s Department and at the County Board of Supervisors.  However, the safety and well being of the people of Sanger were at immediate risk and the Mayor acted to protect them.  Maybe he didn’t follow the bureaucratic protocols properly, but the residents of his fair city are better off for it.

     

    Mayor Mitchell has not stopped there.  The Mayor also realized that the City of Sanger needed an economic boost and that it needed it right away.  How, in the middle of a recession and in a city with an unemployment rate of 27%+ where the average education level is the 9th grade could the Mayor deliver this economic punch?  Mayor Mitchell did what we conservatives have talked about for years, he cut taxes.  He didn’t just make token cuts; he slashed them to the bone.  To spur development, he was able to have the impact fees lowered from $26,000 per quarter acre to ZERO.  These fees went from the highest in Fresno County to the lowest.  Then he was able to get the permit process reduced from 90-120 days down to just 21 days.  Now Sanger boasts the fastest permit process in the county, if not the state!  To top it all off, he and the council have implemented a 50% sales tax rebate to businesses in order to attract private enterprise.  Sanger’s sales tax was the second only to Beverly Hills in all of California.

     

    But wait, there’s more!  Mayor Mitchell doesn’t let the city limits or anything else stop him from trying to make his city better and better.  On top of hiring a well respected and proven firm to help attract developers to Sanger, the Mayor himself is constantly selling his city.  He has, on his own, received commitments from businesses to bring over 400 jobs to Sanger in the next 24 months. 

     

    If all this seems too good to be true, it has not come without a price.  Mayor Mitchell is now the target of a recall.  The axis of socialism will stop at nothing to retake Sanger and wipe out the opposition.  Mayor Mitchell has carried the conservative flag much further than many self-proclaimed conservatives in the public arena.  Mayor Mitchell did not check his principles at the door and neither should we.

    Posted 2011-04-13 4:24 AM (#51965) By: EternalVigilance

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