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Help Wanted: Mayor

As you should know if you read the local newspaper, Wickenburg resident Paula Hartwell was successful getting signatures on her petition to recall the mayor, Ron Badowski, and vice mayor, Jim Girard. My understanding of the procedure is that Badowski’s name will appear on the November ballot in Wickenburg, along with any other mayoral candidate. The people will vote and the candidate with the most votes will win.

I congratulate Ms. Hartwell for her efforts and admire her courage. Although many people complained about the mayor, none of them seemed willing to step forward and do something about him. Ms. Hartwell should be commended as a citizen who is willing to prove how much she cares about our town.

Over the past few weeks — since witnessing, first hand, the attitude and behavior of the Mayor at a Town Council meeting — I’ve spoken to numerous Wickenburg residents about the situation in Town Hall. The people I spoke to fell into two groups.

The people in one group throughly agree with the grievances Ms. Hartwell set forward in her petition. They can’t understand how such a man was elected and are anxious to get him out of office.

The people in the other group have known Badowski for several years; some of them are his accounting clients. They can’t understand how such a “nice guy” can be such a bad mayor and are amazed by his decisions and behavior. One person I spoke to, who has lived in Wickenburg his entire life and takes an active role in Wickenburg politics, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the mayor and agreed that it was time to get him out of office.

There’s even a Web site, RecallBadowski.com, with information about the Mayor’s actions over the past few years. The articles on the Web site include links to articles in the Wickenburg Sun and letters to the editor about the mayor and his unpopular actions. “RecallBadowski.com” bumper stickers have even started appearing on vehicles in town — I have one on my car.

With so many people supportive of the recall effort, it seems like it should be easy to replace the mayor. But replace him with who? Has another candidate stepped forward to run for the position? Without an opposing candidate, Badowski will remain in office and we’ll continue to see decisions and actions that will erode what’s left of Wickenburg’s small-town charm.

So here’s my call for a mayoral candidate.

Help Wanted: Mayor. Candidate must:

  • care about the future of Wickenburg, for all Wickenburg residents — not just a select few.
  • be honest and objective, without family or business ties to real estate ventures that could affect his/her ability to vote objectively on development issues.
  • resist the temptation to form alliances with individuals or businesses that are more interested in profit than the quality of life in Wickenburg.
  • understand the importance of maintaining Wickenburg’s small-town identity and the things that make it a desirable place to live.
  • realize that raising town revenues requires more effort than simply annexing property, raising taxes, and juggling the town budget.
  • work to improve Wickenburg’s economy by attracting the kinds of businesses and employers that will stimulate economic growth without putting existing businesses out of business.
  • have and show respect for the voting public and be willing to listen, without interruption, to their comments and complaints.
  • act, at all times, in a professional manner, especially when dealing with employees of the Town and members of the public.
  • be willing to say “NO,” when necessary, to powerful or influential businessmen or members of Wickenburg’s “good old boy” network on matters that may negatively impact the town.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can make a difference in Wickenburg.

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

5 comments to Help Wanted: Mayor

  • Maria: It sounds to me like you fit the requirements for the job. I live in New York and have a home in Wickenburg, and I cringe everytime I read the “sun” and see what this jerk is doing. Vote him out now and hopefully we will get someone that cares about W’burg, like yourself perhaps.

    Retirement will be coming soon and we are moving there, come out there quite often for visits with friends.

  • Thank you very much for your kind words. I do indeed care about Wickenburg and I certainly would do everything I can to preserve Wickenburg’s charm (what’s left of it) with careful, responsible growth.

    However, as readers of this site and my own personal blog know, I’ve been very outspoken about what’s right and wrong in Wickenburg and certain people seem to recall only the articles that point out what’s wrong. I suspect that they would use those comments — which I firmly stand behind — to try to convince the voting public that I hate Wickenburg. Evidently, most people want their info sugar-coated and I never was one for candy.

    I sincerely hope that someone with the qualifications I’ve listed will step forward. That person will have all my support, either publicly or privately (his/her choice) to replace the arrogant mis-representative of the people currently in office.

  • […] Maria Langer wrote an article for her Web site, wickenburg-az.com, in which she listed the qualifications for a new mayor. The article, which is title “Help Wanted: Mayor,” makes it clear what Wickenburg voters’ grievances are with Mayor Badowski. […]

  • ellen

    Hello,

    This story caught my eye and I know someone who would be perfect for the job. How do we connect with Maria Langer or get more information about running a campaign in Wickenburg. She (Marilyn) wants to relocate to your town and this seems like a good opportunity.

    Thank you for your time,
    ellen

  • I have nothing to do with electing the mayor other than voting for ANYONE running against the current Mayor in this recall election.

    If your friend is interested in running for Mayor, she should go to Town Hall and pick up the required paperwork to get her name on the ballot. But she’d better hurry; the deadline is this month.