I care deeply for. I have decided to run for mayor to work with the community to create a better San Leandro.
To achieve this, the city budget crisis first must be solved. Even though crime is widespread, the mayor and city council eliminated six police officer positions. Funding for senior services, school crossing guards, libraries and pools was also cut.
Despite these cuts, the city is actually spending more this fiscal year than last year, including millions in deficit spending. The city is rapidly burning through its reserves. Finance officials project $36.5 million in red ink over the next six years. If significant action is not taken, the city could be forced to declare bankruptcy.
In response, the mayor and city council are actively considering an increase in the sales tax, raising it a quarter cent to 10%. If approved, San Leandro would have the highest sales tax of any city in Northern California.
I have a better plan. I will restore San Leandro to fiscal health without raising taxes. I will stop the deficit spending by bringing expenses under control and operating city hall efficiently. As mayor, I will not take a salary until the city budget deficit is eliminated.
I will apply my knowledge and skills as an attorney and former small business owner to support small and large businesses in San Leandro, and bring new companies to our city, including ones in the rapidly growing green economy. This will provide quality jobs and generate revenue to rehire police officers, fully fund senior services, libraries and pools, fix our streets, and support our schools.
I will listen to the community and bring it into the process of finding constructive solutions to the challenges facing San Leandro. I will take a collaborative approach to governing. I will work with all council members to create a new culture of open and honest dialogue between city hall and the community.
As a parent and former school board trustee, I know strong schools make a strong city. I was at the forefront of the campaign to build the new 9th grade campus and performing arts center. I will form a real partnership between the city and both school districts.
I am an active member of the coalition to Save San Leandro Hospital. I am committed to keeping acute and emergency care at the hospital.
I pledge to always put the interests of the people of San Leandro first. Together, let's make San Leandro a clean and vibrant community with safe neighborhoods and high performing schools.
Very truly yours,
P.S. Please visit www.cassidyforsanleandro.com to learn more about my plans to improve San Leandro. There is a link to a community survey. Please share your views on the key issues facing our city.
For those on Facebook, please also join the group Stephen Cassidy for San Leandro Mayor at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=149957097021