East Bay Citizen’s Best Quotes of 2010

You can’t hand out awards for the most clever, ironic and sometimes inflammatory comments that pass through the lips of politicians, critics and voters because that’s entirely their job to titilate. Mine is to write down their eloquence. In 2010, there was no lack of a good quote. It was an election year and prickly barbs are part of the war of worlds that occur in the battle for public office. From San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos’ sharp jabs often times struck with a coy smirk to the the angry words of Tea Party activists ostensibly the result of these trying times, the East Bay Citizen presents the best quotes of the past year followed by the Quote of the Year–four simple words, but, oh, so ironic.

“You’re in trouble now and you’re in danger of going into bankruptcy by early 2011 because you’re running a $7 million structural deficit that you’re going to see next year as well. The house is on fire, but you’re not calling the fire department.”
-Stephen Cassidy, the future mayor-elect, warning the San Leandro City Council of the city’s rising budget deficit at a January meeting.

“I may have not been fast enough. I may have not been good enough, but when I got here, our black and brown kids were not achieving.”
-Christine Lim, former San Leandro school superintendent, addresses the school board during her final meeting after being fired in December 2009.

“My house has been robbed twice since I’ve been on the city council. Do you want me to run out of town? We have murders at Southland Mall. We have bank robberies. Do we want to close all of those because there are occasional problems?”
-Bill Quirk, Hayward city councilman, refuting claims in February made by the city’s police officers and others that medical marijuana dispensaries attract any more crime than other businesses.

If you’re having a heart attack, every minute counts and you are interfering with the possibility of me living.”
-John “Papa John” Kalafatich, a San Leandro Hospital employee and heart patient, chides Eden Township Healthcare District Board Director Dr. Rajendra Ratnesar at a February meeting for his votes against keeping the hospital open

-Tony Santos, mayor of San Leandro, reacts to news Alameda Mayor Bev Johnson told supporters he had endorsed her for county supervisor without his knowledge. She later said it was a misunderstanding.

“For whatever reasons, which are somewhat unexplainable, we skipped that cell,”
-Cindy Cathey, then-interim superintendent, on how her office made a $1.6 million accounting error when calculating its budget for 2011-12.


“The deal is signed, sealed and delivered.”
-Santos tells councilmembers in opposition of approving an ordinance for ranked-choice voting at a meeting in April. The vote is deadlocked and fails, but they successfully re-vote two weeks later to disastrous results for him in November.

“The unstoppable rap artist, political activist and mother of three prepares to conquer her next challenge: campaigning for mayor of her hometown”
-Sara Mestas, the rapper turned politician, in a press release announcing her candidacy. She went on to finish fourth in November.

“As far as I am concerned, all the illegals of all kinds should be rounded up and escorted out of the country. They need to get the right papers and learn to speak English if they want to live here.”
-Dorothy Allen, a San Leandro resident, responds to the rise in tenor regarding undocumented aliens in a letter to the editor in the San Leandro Times.  It was the first of a few inflammatory letters published by the paper.

“Who are you going to kill today?” 
-Rep. Pete Stark made national headlines and stoked the rising tide of Tea Party activists when he made the comment to a member of the Golden Gate Minutemen who was filming the town hall in Fremont last June.

We must not allow a biased root to become a full-grown poison ivy of racial injustice,” 
-Francisco Zermeno, Hayward councilman, in June criticizing the controversial Arizona immigration law. The city eventually sent a letter to the governor of Arizona protesting the law.

“We need to stop making excuses for our kids,” 
-Michael Sweeney, the mayor of Hayward, calls for the city to raise its own expectations in July as he highlights its worsening school system.

“Blaming Sacramento or the recession for all of the city’s budget woes is like the captain of the Titanic blaming the sinking of his ship on an iceberg.”
-Cassidy refuting claims San Leandro’s poor economy is only due to problems in Sacramento and the recession at July meeting approving a sales tax measure for the November ballot.

“I don’t need a camera to do that.”
-Tim Goeppner, an East Bay resident and critic of Rep. Stark, is overhead saying to the congressman at town hall meeting July. Stark had joked he was afraid the man might “knock him over the head” with his tripod.

“I’m disappointed in the woman she has become.”
-Santos on Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak’s allegation against him for breaking the Brown Act at a meeting in September. Santos has known her since she was a child.

“Shame on you Ms. Lockyer! Shame on you, there is no excuse for this camaraderie”
-Liz Figueroa, former state senator and candidate for Alameda County supervisor, criticizes Nadia Lockyer for attending a fundraiser organized by Mario Juarez, who was accused previously of hitting his young son over 30 times.

“It’s not time to break out the party favors, but it’s better news.”
-Perry Carter, San Leandro’s then-interim finance director, on news the city’s economy may have hit bottom and may be ready to begin making a slow recovery in 2011.

“Our advice to Liz Figueroa…Sell the Mercedes. Pay your taxes.” 
-Nadia Lockyer, in an October campaign mailer to residents of Southern Alameda County referring to Figueroa’s problems with unpaid property taxes.

“Tell him, I’m not conceding anything.” 
-Santos says nearly a week after election day results give Cassidy the official victory for mayor of San Leandro.