Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stirring words in controller hopeful's concession speech

Former city housing director Tommy Massaro was impressed enough with city controller candidate Al Schmidt's concession speech to send the original draft. He's right. It's a classy speech.

Stirring words in controller hopeful's concession speech

Republican challenger Al Schmidt , who lost his bid for city controller on Tuesday.
Republican challenger Al Schmidt , who lost his bid for city controller on Tuesday. LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff

Former city housing director Tommy Massaro was impressed enough with city controller candidate Al Schmidt's concession speech to send the original draft. He's right. It's a classy speech.

Schmidt, who was the Editorial Board's pick for controller, writes: 

"You're witnessing history tonight--because this is the first step in reform in Philadelphia in years. And you're witnessing it at a somber time in Philadelphia's history. The city is in a fiscal crises. Revenue is less than projected--expenses are higher than expected, and our leaders don't have a plan.

I'm disturbed that city agencies haven't been audited. I'm disturbed that the Parking Authority hasn't been audited. Why? I don't know. Are they covering something up? We're going to find out.
 
I'm even more disturbed that The Republican Party in Philadelphia is perceived as a division of The Philadelphia Parking Authority.

I'm disturbed that the City of Philadelphia is missing out on applying for federal stimulus money. That there's no clear leadership there. That's hundreds of millions of dollars we could be putting to good use. That's libraries remaining open. More police fighting crime. And increased city services. We're not getting that money because of well intended but weak management.
 
I'm disturbed that the city doesn't have a chief salesman. We haven't had a commerce director, the person in charge of bringing in new business--for eight months.
 
I could go on and on - but tonight, thank yous are in order. ... Thank you to Democrats, both citizens and elected officials, who had the courage to put registration aside and do what's best for the
fiscal prosperity of the city. And to the people who tirelessly worked for me (names) I thank you
from the bottom of my heart. ...

Historic movements start with courage - the kind the three freshmen in City Council have shown by banding together, doing what is right, and making a difference. The courage to do what's right ... It has to start somewhere. And that somewhere was here, today at the polls, and tonight with you. I'm thrilled to be witnessing it with you - together."
 

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The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

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