CALIFORNIA – The mayor of Bakersfield wasn’t known for his knowledge in economics when elected in 1988 but he has caught the attention of politicians and scholars alike. In his fourth term, former school teacher Robert Naskola, was forced to face the decline of the economy and ballooning debt
Despite the growing concern over seemingly endless spending by city residents, the mayor has decidedly taken a leadership position on the budget and is finally addressing the $237 million shortfall.
“It’s not in anyone’s interest to reduce or eliminate fire and police services. He does not want to risk public safety” said Mr. Naskola’s press secretary. “With requirements for public school lunches, government pensions, city and community services, historic preservation societies, family center mortgage bailouts, city transportation, drug and alcohol programs, senior community centers, counseling services and international guest worker programs and benefits, we knew we would have to cut public safety first in order to balance the budget.”
With a seemingly impossible decision Mayor Naskola was faced with he looked for inspiration among his peers and role models. In recent years the Mayor noted that old adage ‘You have to spend money to make money’ has been very successful for the federal government and state governments alike. With mounting debt draining the already absent city coffers, the mayor decidedly took the path of other politicians.
Within six months the city under Naskola’s guidance has bought out or consolidated most small and medium sized businesses that were failing and have forgiven their debts. “We are not going to let money prevent progress towards change”.
“I didn’t have any faith that our government would protect my right to the retirement that I was promised” said John Farvey, a 42 year old sanitary engineer. “Let’s say I was satisfied. But I expect that they won’t let company’s fail in the future.”
Naskola will be presenting his plan entitled “Spend Your Way Out of Debt” at the next United States Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. next month. “As long as governments area round we will continue to inject revenue into the economy and buy out failing businesses. It’s the American way”.