#166. Responses to Leadership Agurban

Posted on | The Agurban
Responses to Leadership Agurban

We had some great responses to our Agurban on Leadership From the Top Down. As you may recall, last week we wrote about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Read on about other states’ leadership, or lack thereof.

Same story for Missouri: 4 years ago we had 1 billion deficit; Governor Blunt has had surpluses 3 years running; this year’s is $600 million. Tort reform, new business incentives, population gain, very many positive factors, all without raising taxes!!!

Giving full credit to Haley Barbour for Mississippi’s economic and educational turnaround disregards the many contributions that the state legislature and departments of education and economic development have made. Particularly on education, Governor Barbour has been opposed to many of the increases in K-12 funding and policy shifts that have so remarkably improved the possibilities for Mississippi students, and has bowed often unwillingly to state legislators who have had to fight very hard to protect education funding in the state. Furthermore, Hank Bounds, the state superintendent of schools, is one of the most dynamic and capable individuals to serve in this position in the country and deserves a healthy portion of the credit for what is going on in Mississippi schools.

Great article – – check out John Hoeven in North Dakota. ND is growing too! Even if it is 10 below! :o)

Just a quick note on this week’s Agurban. I had the chance to serve as a…. volunteer in Bay St. Louis, MS a couple of months after Hurricane Katrina. During that time, I also went into Louisiana. The leadership of Gov. Barbour was so obvious. Indeed, during my brief tenure there he came to town for an economic development deal that we were working on and when he comes to town, he truly brings the resources of the state, and to a certain degree the feds with him. This was not a photo op but a real working visit. In addition, I worked on several other economic development projects there and it was amazing to see how far his reach was. I came away so impressed with the way the state was dealing with that tragedy, (and, yes, the contrast with Louisiana was apparent). I share you’re admiration of Governor Barbour and appreciate you giving him the credit due.

Great message about the two Governors, and what really can be done with the right leadership.

I remember ol’ Haley from my young days when I was doing a documentary project in Madison County. I met him a few times and liked him. He was (even then) a huffing and puffing little dynamo who looked to me that he had always been running for office, or at least since 7th grade. As far as the redevelopment goes, Down South (at least) that’s sadly the best way to spur the economy-a natural disaster wipes out the old crap and you can’t just leave a hole there. The trick is to be able to do it absent a hurricane in those parts of MS that look like the Third World.

This just makes it more painful for us in Illinois under Gov. Rod Blagojevich.