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News Maryland

William Donald Schaefer over the years

April, 23, 1971: as City Council president, announcing his mayoral candidacy

"I know about the city's problems, but I also know what the real possibilities are. There are not any easy solutions. Real solutions depend on the kind of hard work, imaginative planning and decisive action that has characterized Baltimore's recent moves forward. … I don't promise what cannot be delivered. But I can and do promise the people of Baltimore that as mayor I will use all my knowledge and experience to bring Baltimore close to that ideal city which every citizen wants for himself and for future generations."

Dec. 8, 1971: Schaefer becomes mayor for the first time

"Our challenge is to build a city that is clean and safe, with good schools and decent housing — a city that is economically sound and prosperous, where the citizenry is responsible, concerned and productive."

June 20, 1979: on the Hyatt Hotel chain agreeing to build at the Inner Harbor

"No city can stand still. No city can afford to say, 'Our work is finished.'"

June 22, 1979: on his leadership style

"Would you believe I have my nose in everything?"

June 22, 1979: on neighborhoods

"If you help yourself, we'll help you. If you don't help yourself, we're busy in other areas."

July 3, 1980: Harborplace opens

"Harborplace is of, by and for the people of Baltimore."

July 12, 1981: on why he planned to "jump into the tank" after promising to do so if the aquarium didn't open on time

"I'm not swimming for the press. I made that promise to the people. I'm swimming for the people."

July 15, 1981: entering the seal pool at the aquarium

"I'm just a little fish in a big pond."

March 29, 1984: on the Colts leaving

"The trucks were out there, and I think that's the final humiliation. … If the Colts had to sneak out of town at night, it degrades a great city. And I hate to see a grown man cry."

May 29, 1985: complaining that Rouse Co. had let Harborplace tarnish five years after it opened

"Harborplace is the prototype. … It shouldn't stay exactly the same. After five years, I'd like to see it renewed. It just doesn't sparkle. They ought to use their genius and refurbish it."

Summer 1986: explaining his do-it-now philosophy during a campaign stop while running for governor

"Get it done. Do it now. You know why? You are all here right now. It has to be nice for you who are here right now. Not 10 years from now. You may not be here. It has to be nice, right now."

Jan. 21, 1987: leaving Baltimore for Annapolis

"The greatest thing that's happened to me is being able to walk along streets and people say, 'Hi, Mayor. Hi, Don. Hi, Schaefer.' … They don't think I'm anything at all, except one of them."

Jan. 22, 1987: inaugural address for first term as governor

"I do not expect to stay in Annapolis — every part of this great state is going to see and hear from me. No place, no matter how small or how distant, will be beyond my personal touch."

October 1994: as he was winding down his second term as governor

"I've been lonesome so many times. You could be in a room absolutely filled with people, and you're standing there all by yourself. Everybody's with somebody else, everybody's talking to somebody else. And a lot of people are hesitant to talk to you because you're the governor. Or the mayor. Others just don't want to talk to you."

January 1995: in his final days as governor

"Give me a person who's not the brightest, like me, not the brightest person in the world, but has a passion, a passion for doing things for people and caring about people. Give me a couple of people like that … The self-satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in a kid's life, in an older person's life, that's great.

"Never forget from whence you came. I'm not an Ivy Leaguer. I'm not wealthy. I wear good clothes 'cause I can. And I've lived and been with the highest. I've been to the swankiest country clubs in the country. I've … met kings. I have met presidents of companies, of countries. I've been royally dined. That's not me. Now, I'm not uncomfortable there. … I feel much more comfortable in my own settings. I don't want to lose the fact of where I am and who I am and what I am."

Jan. 15, 1995: recalling pre-renaissance Baltimore

"You had a city that was hurting, that wasn't proud of itself. … It was a dirty harbor area. … You just don't want to have a city where you get up in the morning, go to work, go home, get up, go to work, go home. What would you do on Saturday? What would you do on Sunday? Would you have any fun?"

July 1998: embarking on a return to public life in his candidacy for state comptroller

"It's in your blood. I thought it was out, but it's burning as bright as it used to."

2006: after losing his re-election bid for comptroller at age 84, on how he wanted to be remembered

"'He cared.' That's all. That says a tremendous amount, and it really means something because if you care about somebody — I learned that a long time ago when I was in the City Council. If you can help one person and make life better for them, it follows all the way through the other offices I've had. 'He cared.'"

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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