Remembering Bob Cashell

By  | 

RENO, NEV (KOLO) Those who knew him have no lack of personal memories of the man. Ask them about Bob Cashell and you'll hear the same themes over and over again.

"He loved being your mayor," said Mayor Hillary Schieve. "He loved it. He just had that larger-than-life personality,.."He was wonderful to be around. He lit up a room."

"While his personality was larger than life, his heart was larger too," said Councilwoman Neoma Jardon.

Longtime friend Jim Minor agrees. "He did a lot of things that people never saw. He paid for people's schooling and medical bills and he would only do it saying 'Don't tell anybody who gave it to you.'"

He will inevitably be remembered for the changes the city saw on his watch. The downtown train trench, the Aces Ballpark, certainly the homeless shelter. His fingerprints are on all of them.

Friend and local businessman Rick Revilglio says it wasn't about building a legacy.

"It was about his love and passion to make our community better. In so many ways he made our community better."

But he'll also be remembered for his style of leadership, a forceful personality tempered by kindness and a wise perspective.

"Leave it all in the room once you're done with the vote," Jardon remembers his advice.."We'll all disagree sometimes, but you can do it without being disagreeable."

"He would grab my hand," says Schieve, "and say 'Hillary, it's just politics.' And we would walk off the dais and he would say 'You've got to leave it on the dais."

He could bristle with anger, especially in defense of the city--as the day he learned the leadership of Hot August Nights had planned to relocate Reno's signature special event to Long Beach.

"I am angry and I want to talk with someone," he told us. "You're gutting our city and I don't like it."

Hot August Nights stayed.

He was a hands-on leader. One day I was doing a story on those impacted by construction of the train trench.

Changing traffic patterns had sent much of the business that kept a service station at 2nd and Keystone going.

I just happened to run into the mayor a short time later. He asked what I was up to. I told him and he offered on the spot to accompany me back to the station to hear the business owner's concern first hand.

In the end, he wasn't able to do much to help, but his reaction said much about his personal approach to the job.

The last time I talked with him--a few months ago, I asked him about his supposed retirement to southern California. He was back he told me. This was his town. He missed it. He belonged to it and to us.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020