A few hours ago, Mayor Bob Correia delivered his State of the City address. It is no secret that Fall River is facing some of its darkest days. It is also no secret that Mayor Correia has made many unpopular decisions and has many detractors.
As Mayor Correia delivered his speech I'm sure that those who are critical of him were unimpressed and unswayed. They will mock his claims of accomplishment and decry his downplaying of failure. Still despite their unwillingness to admit it, this was a very good speech.
Most voters hibernate between elections. They don't pay close attention to the little details that revolve around the decisions and actions that are made by our local leaders. To them the beginning of an election season is much like the beginning of spring. They wake from their long hibernation and take in the scenery just as everything is beginning to bloom.
The Mayor's speech is perfectly tailored to these voters, because while the speech certainly has flaws and points to be contended with it offers many points that will agree to those just tuning in.
Mayor Correia concedes that his leadership style may not have been best suited in his role as Mayor. He offers as an excuse, or apology, his experience as a legislator where there was a need to push and champion your own ideas and his enthusiasm for getting things done and achieving goals.
He defends his decision to not raise taxes by pointing out the struggles that many of us are facing in difficult times, including the 7,000 residents that are out of work.
He defends his rain water fee by stressing that 70% of households are saving money. He stresses the success and benefits of the community learning center that he pushed for as a candidate and the beginnings of his envisioned Restaurant Row.
He continually states the need to work together, for unity, and on his own part, a new approach.
Those who support the Mayor will see this as a great speech and those who are sympathetic will see this as reason to have continued faith in Bob Correia.
Not only was Mayor Correia delivering the State of the City address he was delivering the state of his campaign, which is just beginning.