After two decades of public service in Contra Costa County, District 2 Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema announced that she plans to retire at the end of her term in January 2013.
The San Ramon Valley supervisor, who also served for 19 years as a Lafayette City Council member with four terms as mayor, said she simply felt it was time to leave office.
"I've been very privileged to have public support for over 30 years, and I'm grateful to the public for their faith in me," Uilkema said Tuesday, stressing that she plans to provide the same level of representation for constituents during her last 14 months in office.
"I felt that it was important to let people know so that we can have a spirited election," she added.
Over the next year, the supervisor said she plans to focus on pet public safety projects including a mobile identification system that will allow police to identify suspects in the field and an enhanced inter-agency communication system for local police and fire departments. Beyond her 2013 retirement, Uilkema said she is unsure how she will spend her time.
"In the meantime, I love what I do. I still intend to actively provide the service to my district that they deserve," she said.
Because there are no incumbents for District 2 supervisor, Uilkema expects that interested parties from throughout the San Ramon Valley and its neighboring cities will prepare for filing over the holidays.
"I expect that we will see people coming forth as possible candidates by the opening of filing period on Feb. 13," she said. "I expect that we will see people coming forth and possibly testing the waters from all over the district."