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Choose Your Battles Wisely

NaboursIf you are a business owner, you have probably had occasion to ask yourself if a fight with an unreasonable customer is going to be worth it. Are you going to win the argument and then have someone “bad mouthing” you all over town?

If you are a parent, you have probably asked your spouse if it is worth it to battle your child over what they are wearing to school or cleaning up their room.

We have all heard the expression, “Choose your battles wisely.” Sometimes you win in the short run but lose in the bigger picture.

This is certainly true in government and politics.

A good example was a City Council meeting several weeks ago. In the same night, we had two issues: (1) Move forward with a proposed senior veterans’ home, including a request to the state for $10 million; and (2) Sue the state for preempting cities from setting their own minimum wage.

In 30 plus years of experience as an attorney, I found that when you are suing someone, you should not plan on asking them for funding. The majority of Council agreed to skip the lawsuit against the state.

When I first came into office, the city had been having a difficult time getting ADOT to give us permission to use the I-40 right-of-way for our water line from Red Gap Ranch. After a while, I mentioned this to a knowledgeable politico in Phoenix. I wondered aloud why we were having trouble. His response was, “ADOT is the governor’s department. Do you remember when the City of Flagstaff sued the governor over SB1070 [the Immigration Law]? Maybe the governor didn’t appreciate it. Who knows?”

I’m not saying they are related. I do know that after meeting Gov. Brewer several times and mentioning the issue, ADOT became more interested. Might have been a coincidence.

The point is, don’t kick somebody (even if they deserve kicking) if it is going to interfere with your end game. FBN


By Jerry Nabours, mayor of Flagstaff


One Response to Choose Your Battles Wisely

  1. Kyle July 10, 2015 at 4:08 PM #

    Downtown Parking – it seems our Police Department feels that giving parking tickets is somehow in the interest of the downtown business climate. After patronizing two downtown restaurants and stopping by a outdoor equipment merchant I was rewarded with a ‘exceeding 2 hour parking’ ticket. I guess the new policy of enforcement during daytime business hours should encourage us locals to spend more time and money downtown. Unfortunately I believe it will have the opposite effect.

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