What Makes a Good Mayor?

by Abbi Holtom Whitaker / Apr 7, 2014

There’s a lot of talk about who wants to be mayor, who doesn’t and who might. But no one has asked the question “what makes a good mayor?” Or better yet, “what makes a great mayor?” Reno needs a great mayor, not just someone who thinks they can do the job and wouldn’t mind the perks that go along with it. We need someone to rattle the cage without fearing who might rattle back.

Many people in Reno agree that we are at a tipping point and that the leader we choose for the next four years can either help push this town over that hill or pull it back down. The mayor’s job is a big one and I think everyone in this community realizes that. We need a leader who has a vision but understands how public policy, public safety and city finances work. We need someone who inspires, motivates and listens to EVERYONE not just those that have great lobbyists or good connections with the movers and shakers. We need someone who will stand up for this community and fight to make us great. We need a fearless, passionate and smart leader.

So what makes a great mayor?

• A great mayor is trustworthy, honest, ethical and compassionate

• A great mayor understands how vital economic development is to our region and embraces new ideas while understanding and educating themselves on what makes our economy tick

• A great mayor is able to negotiate and work with others to come to create and execute policies that will enable our community to thrive

• A great mayor takes action and has the ability to execute ideas and policy that will benefit the entire region and take Reno to the next level

• A great mayor has a vision for this community that encourages collaboration

• A great mayor is able to make tough decisions that aren’t always popular with everyone • A great mayor is a great communicator

• A great mayor surrounds himself/herself with smart and talented people that reflect his/her vision for this community

Being mayor isn’t an easy job and in many ways it’s a thankless job. Many people say the 1990s were a turning point for mayors in America’s history, but I believe this coming decade is Reno’s time to turn that corner and take its place in history as a great city. But to become a great city we need a great mayor. So I pose this question to all the candidates who are throwing their hat into the ring for this race - WHY? Why are you the person who can make this city great? Why are you the one we should trust to help us tip in the right direction?

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