Endorsement: Kenneth Mejia for city controller?
by David F. Schram, The Arizona Republic
If a political earthquake were to happen in Phoenix, the most probable candidate for mayor would be former city controller Kenneth Mejia. He has a proven record of success in local government, and he would be a natural political heir to City Manager Charles Stranch.
Mejia’s campaign announcement video opens with a description of his career as a city controller. He has run a financially sound department for 25 years, he says.
“I was responsible for the financial management of city government,” says Mejia, who retired in 2006 after serving for 31 years as the city controller.
He was re-elected in February, and his last city job was before he was named the city controller in 1999. Mejia says he ran the department from 1982 to 1999, which is “quite a record.”
“I was responsible for some of the biggest budget crises in our history,” he says.
He has led the department in the best fiscal performance on record over the past 25 years, but a major challenge facing the city is the end of the Stranch administration.
Mejia says “it’s time for change.”
To become a candidate, a political heir must win the support of two-thirds of the board, City Council, four-fifths of the electorate (two-thirds of registered voters and the three-fourths of city residents who are registered voters in the city), two-thirds the business community and the other two-thirds of the electorate.
“I think we have to look at the bigger picture,” Mejia says. “I think it’s time for real change.”
Mejia’s campaign video features clips of him addressing the Phoenix Fire Fighters Association or the PFLC, describing his work as a controller and how he has “worked to make the city a better place for our residents and our families.”
During the campaign, a website promoting Mejia features a series of articles with bold-faced headlines. They include “Mejia: My Journey from City Controller to City Manager,” “Mejia: What Does