The mayor of a city in Arizona praised President Donald Trump’s position on infrastructure at a U.S. Conference of Mayors roundtable breakfast Aug. 2.
Although critical of some of the president’s rhetoric, John Giles, mayor of Mesa, said some of the changes brought about by Trump’s administration, namely the push for improved infrastructure, are positive.
“The rhetoric has been challenging, but at the same time, I think it’s given us as mayors an opportunity to defend a lot of the things we do in our cities. To have a renewed emphasis on infrastructure and tax reform, regardless of who the president is, has been a very healthy thing,” Giles said. “The rhetoric has been nonproductive and damaging, but I think some of the change associated with a regime change in the federal government has been a positive thing for us.”
Giles sat in for Bryan Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Mich., at the conference, which was hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He was joined by Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, and Mayor Stephen Benjamin of Columbia, S.C. All three men represented states that voted for Trump in the presidential election this past November.
Infrastructure is a major priority for many mayors. Landrieu said that, in addition to homeland security and public safety, he is interested in infrastructure.
The Trump administration has released “principles” outlining a $1 trillion, 10-year infrastructure funding plan. Although Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told legislators in May that the text for these “principles” would be released in the fall, she has indicated since that the plan could be unveiled as late as the end of the year.
Giles is a registered Republican, but he was elected in a nonpartisan election in 2016. Mesa is about 20 miles east of Phoenix.