FORMER COMMISSIONERS TELL CASSIDY THANKS, BUT NO THANKS; MAYOR GIVES LACKLUSTER ADDRESS
By Steven Tavares
There was a noticeable amount of no-shows last Monday night as San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy presented outgoing city commissioners for their service. The snubs are not totally unexpected. Some of those “former” members became such on the recommendation of Cassidy after he became mayor at the beginning of this year.
Charlie Gilcrest, San Leandro’s political maven and top NCAA Tournament bracket manager, was more than happy to accept the mayor’s recognition for his years on the board of zoning and adjustments. Gilcrest, clad in a light-colored suit and purple tie, mentioned more names in his comments than an Oscar winners speech for supporting actress. Others were not as enthused. Kent Myers, one of former mayor Tony Santos’ top supporters was noticeably absent. Like three other who missed the regular meeting, Cassidy was forced to awkwardly scan the room for the missing dignitaries and assure they will get their recognition at a later date.
SLEEPY STATE OF AFFAIRS The State of the City address Cassidy gave Monday night was easily his most disappointing speech as mayor and possibly as bad as any as far back as his campaign. His delivery was dreadful, almost as if he was reading the text for the very first time. The staccato sound of tripping over the words and hushed, "excuse me" tone of the speech made for a forgettable 30 minutes.
The speech, itself, begged the question whether Cassidy puts much thought into speech-making. Over the past two years of covering him, he appears to have two speeches, which rotate from time to time. One is the “I’m the black sheep” address, which he inexplicably used last year at two consecutive candidates’ forums and some variation of using presidential quotes, often highlighted by President John F. Kennedy.
It’s difficult to succeed as a politician if you can’t communicate in a manner greater than the rigid construction of a paragraph-building taught to sixth graders. Cassidy's address was fraught with clumsy transitions. We are contanstly told about his supreme intellect, but his lack of preparation and presentation for such an important address is shocking. Here’s a brief description of Cassidy’s address:
As JFK once said, “As not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for you country.” Now I am going to talk about how things are getting better in San Leandro. I think they are getting better, now I want to talk about how despite they are getting better, this is how I’m going to make city workers pay even more than their share. These are the companies still willing to do business in the city. Cue a quote from President Obama. Happy Birthday, San Leandro. Feign a smile. Speech over.