Mayor Cassidy Hints He Knows Council Colleagues Don’t Like Him

Mayor Cassidy in 2010. How many of his colleagues
would like to take a shot at the dunking booth today?

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | Did San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy make light of his apparent unpopularity among council colleagues this week?

Near the end of Monday’s night’s meeting regarding possible changes to how the council selects its vice mayor, Cassidy said the current process can create disharmony and then while speaking to the City Council, joked, “I’m so happy to be mayor where you don’t get to vote whether I get to stay mayor or not.” A hearty laugh followed, before he added, “Just the people get to make that decision.” (Watch the video clip below.)

The quip, however, is rooted in some truth. Over the past few years, Cassidy has clashed on various occasions with Councilmember Ursula Reed, alienated Councilmember Benny Lee over the recent Chinese flag over City Hall fiasco and traded barbs with Councilmember Diana Souza, who has voiced displeasure with the mayor on various occasions during meetings. Even the normally jovial Councilmember Jim Prola has had private disputes with Cassidy. Although Prola told EBC last month he will not challenge Cassidy for mayor next year, he added this caveat, “Unless he makes me mad.”

On Monday, Cassidy said, while he can’t be vice mayor, himself, the procedure of selecting a vice mayor–a purely ceremonial title–puts him in an awkward position. Yet, he desires a “harmonious relationship” with all members of the council.

Currently, the City Council votes each May to name a new vice mayor. There are no specific rules for its selection, but the council has typical rotated the title among themselves. However, this year Souza expressed disappointment by being passed over for the job in favor of Prola. Souza, who is heading into her eighth and final year as a member of the council has never held the title. She pushed for reexamining the process, which was discussed at Monday’s meeting.

Among city councils in Alameda County, San Leandro’s policy for picking its number two is one of the least formal. Some cities, like Fremont, rotate the position among its four members. Others, in some combination of rotation and tenure, bestow the honor on the member who garnered the most votes during its most recent election. In Hayward, its version of vice mayor, the mayor pro tem, is the most senior member of the group who has yet to hold the office and whom has served for at least two years.

6 thoughts on “Mayor Cassidy Hints He Knows Council Colleagues Don’t Like Him

  1. By MW:

    Frankly, I myself cannot figure out why anybody would not like a politician. In other words, Most of them are the best that money can buy.


  2. Hope someone who has some savvy runs against this guy. He will be a one term Mayor if that should occur.


  3. Well gee whiz, Mayor feels Council Members do not like him-if I only had Council Members who liked me, I might still be Mayor-how many people in town conspired to have Christine Lim fired? Two-Cassidy/Katz and fact is they needed to elect individuals to side with them and to their credit, they did that; they did by electing Diana Prola, Hermie Almonte and even though Cassidy did not run, the board swung enough to have Lim fired-also, no one, again no one, has ever bought up the fact that in 2008 Cassidy was charged with violating the Political Practices Reform ACT. He was reprimanded by the FPPC. There are other instances that should be noted, but Cassidy was and has been lucky, his former colleagues on the School Board have remained silent on his activities while he was a member of the board. Tony Santos


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