Last week, Don Rush of Delmarva Public Radio interviewed both candidates for mayor of Salisbury. The contrast was startling. While this was not candidate (and SBYNews publisher) Joe Albero’s best interview, he was relaxed and discussed the issues facing the city. Incumbent mayor Jim Ireton was agitated, sarcastic, interrupted Rush numerous times, and let the world know that Salisbury is NOT a business-friendly community.
See the interviews below. Ireton’s starts at about 29 minutes in.
Ireton claims great accomplishment. Nothing is his fault. If something didn’t happen it was because of the city council, specifically Debbie Campbell. If businesses believe that Salisbury isn’t business-friendly, it’s THEIR fault, not the city’s. Oh … and he PLANS to do lots of things IF he’s re-elected.
For every ten people that come to the city, five feel they’ve been treated OK. – Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton
What is most disturbing is Ireton’s attitude towards business. If you make a profit, you need to pay more. If the police have to come to your business TWICE in TWO YEARS, the city (NOT a judge) should be able to shut you down. If you appeal, you have to appeal to the same person who already decided to close your doors.
If you are a businessperson looking to move to Salisbury and you hear the mayor sarcastically asking questions like, “Who made that profit?” or “Somebody’s making money somewhere.” do you think that Salisbury is a great place to do business?
Ireton states, “For every ten people that come to the city, five feel they’ve been treated OK.” Ireton thinks that’s acceptable! Do you deal with businesses who take the attitude that they only need to satisfy 50% of their customers? If you are a business do you want to move to a city that takes this attitude? If you are a businessperson in Salisbury, do you want to expand in a city that takes this attitude?
You don’t have to give away the store to attract businesses. You don’t have to make Salisbury unsafe to encourage businesses to expand. You do need a sea change in attitude. Satisfying 50% of your customers is NOT acceptable. Making Salisbury “more progressive” isn’t going to attract business.