Palin, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Assn., started her career as a member of her local city council in Wasilla, Alaska, a town about 45 miles outside of Anchorage, in 1992. She was elected Wasilla’s mayor in 1996, when the city’s population was about 4,600, according to a 1997 press report (via nexis).Just keeps getting better.
In this role, Palin acted in a way that eerily foreshadows her recent actions while governor. Early in her tenure as mayor, the city council threatened to recall her over accusations that she fired the city’s police chief, Irl Stambaugh, and the library director, Mary Ellen Emmons, without warning. She accused them in a letter saying: “I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment …” (The Anchorage Daily News, via nexis)
Ultimately, Palin let the library director have her job back; though Stambaugh’s position was not returned. The police chief took the matter to court, where a judge sided with Palin, saying city law allows the mayor to fire the police chief without cause.
When questioned by the Anchorage Daily News at the time, Palin refused to give details on how Stambaugh had not supported her, saying only: ”You know in your heart when someone is supportive of you.”
(From the comments in this TPM entry)