Oakland has had quite a string of mayors, the last few years. We had Jerry Brown, who wanted to be in charge so bad he pushed through a change to the city charter to give us a Strong Mayor. Then we had Ron Dellums, who almost never exercised the powers of the mayor at all (and who rarely even appeared in public). Now we have Jean Quan, who seems - scattered.
The good news about Quan, after Dellums, is that she goes out and about, she talks to people - there's even some evidence that she can listen to people. But she doesn't seem to understand what being the mayor entails, and I don't think I've ever seen a public figure so blind to how her actions look to other people.
So this has me thinking - what does being a mayor entail? What should a mayor do?? If we wrote a job description for the mayor (not a bad idea, come to think of it), what would it say? In fact, I was going to do a whole blog post on what is a mayor - and then in today's Sunday S.F. Chronicle, the inimitable Willie Brown said it all for me, and better than I could:
Jean Quan, frustrating everyone, must take charge
(Note: this is the column from October 30, 2011, so if the link takes you to a different column on a later date, look for it in the archives.)