Green Bay's mayor is among the Wisconsin politicians in D.C. today. Mayor Jim Schmidt says – not surprisingly – the economy was topic "A" at the annual winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors , which ended Monday. Schmidt says the mayors spent a great deal of time on economic stimulus.
Schmidt is serving his second term as mayor of Wisconsin's third largest city, and he thinks mayors may be best positioned to make sure economic stimulus is well spent, on those so-called "shovel ready" projects. "If – pick a number – half a million dollars comes to Green Bay to redo one of our major thoroughfares, if that money comes to Green Bay, I can get that implemented in maybe 60 days, whereas if it comes through the federal bureaucracy or state government, it may not happen as quick," says Schmidt. "I think they have to projects that are real, and I think they should the mayors responsible. I think tax cuts should be part of it, because that's immediate money into the economy. But I think you also need the infrastructure to support expanding businesses."
While the mayors' conference ended Monday, Schmidt – a Republican – is staying on in D.C. to attend today's historic inauguration of President Barack Obama. "It's an exciting time in history," he says. "I wish my kids were here with me." He was also on hand for years ago for George W. Bush's second inaugural.