Cassidy: many cheeseburgers ago.
SAN LEANDRO | Mayor Stephen Cassidy was once one of those fat guys who drank Diet Coke during San Leandro City Council meetings. Now he drinks what The Citizen’s Shane Bond reported was “green sludge” at a meeting last July. An “investigation” in May questioned how Cassidy had transformed himself from a rotund city official to a somewhat svelte version of his notorious self in just 60 days (!).
Some believed Cassidy had undergone a weight-loss procedure to account for the rapid loss of weight, as evidenced by a before-and-after graphic showing the mayor at a public meeting in March and another of a noticeably thinner Cassidy at a event in San Leandro in May.
Now, Cassidy is coming clean saying the transformation is due to a strict adherence to a tightly-relegated portion-control diet and exercise regimen offered by Kaiser Permanente. In fact, one council member told The Citizen, Cassidy is on the same diet used last year by Oprah Winfrey to drop 25 pounds in just six weeks. The diet plan, however, is very expensive, but Cassidy, who is up for re-election next year, can chalk up the personal expenditure to remaking his poor public persona around the city and the East Bay as a gruff, uncompromising bully.
Nevermind, the unknown health ramifications Cassidy may have been facing before proceeding with the crash diet, San Leandro politicos suspect the new Cassidy on display in recent months is a campaign creation. In fact, Cassidy often partakes in idle chats with other officials now; jokes and grins like he’s happy to be in the company of constituents. In a few council meetings, he appeared to back off from firing back or belittling colleagues who challenged his positions or sometimes peculiar handling of meetings.
Although, we can’t help but think why Cassidy, as mayor of the fattest city in Alameda County, according to a state report earlier this year, wouldn’t use the weight-loss gambit to inspire his constituents into good health and exercise rather than taking advantage of free-delivery of Whoppers at the Burger King on East 14th Street, he certainly smiles a lot now. Although, with a little bit of green sludge caught between his teeth.