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.
“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.
-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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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’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.
“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.
“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.