Mayor John Linder was interviewed today by Phil Allen for nearly an hour on WURD 900 AM black talk radio. Since we’re in the middle of the dog days of summer, why not review the mayor’s performance like a softball box score (softball because those were the type of questioned asked).
The interview opened with Phil Allen gushing about how he likes Mayor Linder. He mentioned that the mayor is not a politician but an educator. Mayor Linder hit it out the park by graciously receiving the compliment and skillfully detailing how he transitioned from education to politics.
2nd Inning - Strike out looking
When asked what has changed in Chester public housing in the last 25 years, the mayor went on a tangent talking about crime across America and all the issues other cities are having. That moved the host to start talking about crime. The smarter answer would have been to highlight the total revitalization/renovation of Chester pubic housing, giving people more pride in their surroundings – or something along those lines. No one can say that the Fair Grounds, Lamokin Village, and the William Penn projects don’t look 100% better than they did 25 years ago. Even the Bennett received a facelift. By taking the discussion to crime and not to the rebuilding, the mayor missed out on a great opportunity to give Chester a big pat on the back.
3rd Inning – Single
It was a close play at first on the dribbler to the mound, but I’ll give him a hit. When asked about the schools, the mayor did an excellent job explaining that city politics plays no leadership or fiscal role in the school district. He explained how, as mayor, the city’s concern is for the school aged kids. His liaison staff has been charged to work with the school district. If he had stopped there, he probably would have rounded the bases, but he stumbled trying to discuss deficits, funding analysis, and new fiscal formulas. If you’re not involved in school concerns, keep quiet. Tell us more about what you’re doing for the school aged kids.
4th Inning – Pop fly out to the infield
When asked about the impact of Harrah’s, PPL Park, and the waterfront development, the mayor did a good job praising Harrah’s for their injection of much needed new revenue and their impact on getting 50% more Chester residents enrolled at Delaware County Community College. He sited PPL as Chester’s eye candy but not much on bringing in big bucks. So, he did hit the ball. But, he needlessly brought up the fight to get a parking/amusement tax enacted. He responded to waterfront development around PPL Park with the practice fields the soccer team is building. Even the host wasn’t buying that one. He could have easily knocked that one out the park by simply explaining that Harrah’s and PPL Park are a few attractions we look to grow and develop to show others how and why they should become interested in doing business with Chester.
5th Inning – Strike out swinging
When asked about the state of the black economy in Chester, the mayor took one good swing by claiming that he’s pushing for an entrepreneur community. Then, he just swung and missed badly talking about getting people ready for jobs in the same sentence as getting people ready to own their own businesses. He took another bad whiff when he jumped to talking about new supermarkets. I was hoping he’d highlight the successful black businesses in Chester and the support they get from the community. With more businesses like them, and more support from the community, the black business economy will continue to grow.
6th Inning – Home run
When asked about his wife’s carjacking incident, the mayor gave just enough detail to make the first timer intrigued with the story. His best line of the entire interview was in this inning when he said that when his wife came running to the front door after being confronted by the carjackers, she wasn’t coming for the mayor, she was coming for her husband. (And the crowd stood to their feet and cheered as the ball cleared the fence on that statement).
With 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 man left on base, it wasn’t a bad outing for the mayor. Maybe by the trade deadline we can find a few designated hitters who can effectively promote Chester and do more image building than damage control.