While San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is tweeting he has balanced the city budget, San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos hopes to do the same tonight as the city council is slated to approve a new budget for the next year.
The cities budget in some ways is similar to that of many of its citizens. A little belt-tightening here and there and for hope for the best to survive each month. Like San Leandro, many are just an unforeseen catastrophe away from major turmoil. Rising as one of the most vociferous voices of fiscal oversight is former school board trustee Stephen Cassidy, who has hounded the mayor in recent weeks speaking in the city council chambers, writing emails and penning a measured critique of San Leandro's budgetary future. He wrote of the mayor's leadership, "He fears honest conversation may offend some groups. Mayor Santos has placed his perceived political self-interest ahead of the best interest of San Leandrans."
During an interview last Wednesday, the normally laid back Santos, who is known to be unusually accessible, urged for a sense of comity in public discourse, albeit with a sharp jab of his own for Cassidy.
People can vent, but my only bottom line is show respect. I'll respect you and you respect me. You hear it even from Steve Cassidy--who should know better. Here's a guy who was on the school board for four years and they had a deficit like we've had a deficit. In fact, he's no longer writing to me because I wrote him a memo saying, 'you couldn't even balance your school budget and you're coming over here and telling us how to balance our budget?' You know they get mad at you. I'm going to get you. But they have a right to vent but they should respect me and I'll respect you. I think respect might be something missing in all of this.