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Tom King, Mayor of Walnut

Tom King, Mayor of the City of Walnut, received an honorary Ph.D in business management from CalUniversity for the ways in which he successfully ran his government like a business. While many people say that efficiency and government are contradictions in terms, King believes that the government can in fact be run by a government.

His results bore this belief out.

The way he sees it, a city manager is akin to a CEO, the city council is the board of directors, and the citizens of the government are the shareholders. By running a government in this manner, Mayor King kept the government living within its means and made choice about what services were really necessary.

Business is the Lifeblood of the Community

Mayor King is certain that business is the lifeblood of the community. This is true for a number of different reasons. For one, sales tax revenue, at least for the City of Walnut, was much more important to the city than property tax revenue, contrary to common belief.

King also believes that the innovation inherent in starting and running a business is essential for the development of a community.

"Business is the lifeblood of our community, a city relies [on its entrepreneurs].”

A Lifetime of Service

King served in the military, and then he was a detective supervisor for the LAPD for many years. It is this lifetime of community service that informs his belief that all business owners should generously give of themselves to their communities.

He enjoys recounting that when he retired, his wife told him that she thought he needed more structure, so she suggested that he teach high school. He taught high school until someone suggested that he run for public office where he had a successful term as Mayor of Walnut.

A Regret Finally Fulfilled

His one regret was that he never got his advanced degree. He believes that any student who is in a position to do so should strive for an advanced degree, such as MBA or Ph.D, as he knows that he did not earn as much money throughout his career as he could have otherwise. In addition, he simply felt unfulfilled without his Ph.D.

This regret makes it all the more poignant that CalUniversity decided to honor him with an 'Honorary Doctorate' for his service to the City of Walnut. Now, as he sees it, he can look back on his career with no regrets.

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