Mayoral advice for the incoming president

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Everyone’s got advice for President-elect Barack Obama. Msnbc.com, realizing this, used his election as an opportunity to informally survey the country’s mayors on what they would recommend to the incoming president.

MSNBC sent the survey to more than 1,000 mayors, and heard back from 205 in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The bottom line — not surprisingly — is that “Main Street America” is hurting. Though it’s interesting how different regions of the country convey this concern, with many relating the economic struggles to problems specific to their area.

I was surprised that Salisbury was the only Maryland city to respond, and even more surprised at the final bit of Mayor Barrie P. Tilghman’s answer:

1. Infrastructure: Solution to the challenge facing America’s local governments to replace failing infrastructure. We bail out the financial industry, but the trillions of dollars of necessary infrastructure upgrade and replacement is pressing to the quality of life for all Americans.

2. The Economy: We have seen a dramatic decrease in construction and accompanying applications for building permits, especially in residential development. There is a major high-end condo development on our river that has been completely abandoned and will be auctioned this month. It was in mid construction when the bank pulled the financing. We have also seen an increase in homelessness, foreclosures and criminal activity related to the economy. That is, people are shoplifting essentials such as diapers and food, not electronics.

A sad commentary on the state of things. Take a look at the interactive national map to see what other areas of the country think we need right now.

We’re also interested in what you think. If you were mayor of your town/city, how would you have answered the survey?

JOE BACCHUS, Web Specialist

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