Small-town east Texas mayors weigh in on Palin's experience

Palin has been the focus of some criticism, both from the media and her political opponents over her lack of experience, but we wanted to know if the criticism was fair. KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark talked with some east Texas mayors today who say that even running a small town is experience worth counting.

It has been a hotbed issue even before Sarah Palin was plucked from the realm of obscurity and lifted up to the lofts of the second name on a major party ticket.


So is Palin ready? Some east Texas mayors say she has the perfect experience.

"Yeah, she's got experience, you've got to start somewhere. Mayor's a good place to start," said Charles Dawson, the mayor of Hallsville. "I think she has been criticized wrongly."

"I think the news media needs to take a long hard look at what she has accomplished in her life," said Barbara Bass, the mayor of Tyler. "Being mayor, you do get experience dealing with people from very diverse backgrounds that have a lot of different issues. You do get comfortable in a governmental environment working with boards or commissions, so it would be a relatively easy transition to another government elected job."

"It is a tough job," said Joe Carrington, the mayor of White Oak.

"They're more or less the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, chief budget officer in the city."

Usually an unpaid position, small town mayors have to balance their elected lives with working everyday jobs, and being good mayors.

"Basically the same principles as VP as mayor, you have budgets you have to work with, laws you have to look at," said Joe Parker, the mayor of Kilgore.

"She proved she could do it as a mayor, she proved she could do it as governor of Alaska."

Alaska voters have trusted her with the responsibility of running a town and then their state. so these mayors say the criticism is unfounded.

"They need to be a governor for just one day, they need to be a mayor one week, answer those questions when people come in," said Mayor Dawson of Hallsville.

Most of the mayors we talked with today say that Palin's experience on a local level is a good proving ground for government at a higher level, in their opinion.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.