Mayor Schaefer made us better workers

April 19, 2011

The passing of Baltimore's own mayor, William Donald Schaefer, is an event that evokes many memories of the "Do it now" man. As a command level police executive officer, I, as everyone on the city's payroll, was often admonished by the mayor, to "Do it now!" This was, at times, aggravating, to say the least — especially so, when what he wanted "done now" was not so easy, or required resources that too frequently were in short supply!

As I said, he was frustrating, demanding the impossible; and I for one occasionally became angry and resentful of his apparent lack of appreciation for the problems that I had, as a commanding officer. Later on, I actually began to appreciate the pressure that he put on me; as frustrating as it was, his demands made me a better administrator. He made me be better at my job, and that is something to be appreciated.

When he became governor, those of us who had worked for him in the city joked as to how he would "shake up" the deadwood in Annapolis. We even installed him as the first King of Maryland: King "Willie Don" the First. Of all of his political accomplishments, and they were many, his first love was Baltimore, and mayor of that city was the fulfillment of his political soul. He certainly will be missed, he most certainly was respected, and most importantly, he was loved by many, many people! Rest in Peace Mr. Mayor. Rest in Peace.

Robert L. Di Stefano

The writer is a retired major with the Baltimore Police Department.

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