San Ramon Mayor Clarkson announces re-election bid

'I would love to be able to finish these projects,' he says

Bill Clarkson plans to seek a third term as San Ramon mayor this fall, announcing his re-election bid in an email to supporters earlier this week.

"I'm asked a lot, so I wanted to let people know my intention up front," Clarkson said in a follow-up interview Tuesday afternoon, acknowledging that his announcement came months before the formal candidacy-filing period opens for the November ballot.

Clarkson, 63, said one of his main motivations for wanting another term is to continue supporting efforts undertaken during his tenure, including work on the San Ramon City Center, new police department hires, completing the city's bicycle master plan, expanding San Ramon's open spaces and improving traffic conditions.

"As much as we have really accomplished in the past couple years, a lot of things are still in progress," added Clarkson, who is in his fifth year as mayor. "I would love to be able to finish these projects, or move them forward."

Clarkson, who has 34 years of experience working in the San Ramon Valley real estate industry, began elected public service on the San Ramon Valley school board in 1998. He served on the Board of Education until 2010.

San Ramon voters elected him to his first mayoral term in 2011.

Mayor is typically a two-year term in San Ramon, but city voters in November 2013 approved of giving Clarkson an extra year as part of a series of ballot measures that switched city elections to even years instead of odd years -- a cost-saving move that lined up San Ramon election cycles with other Contra Costa County cities and other regular elections.

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3 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 4, 2016 at 8:15 am

I think Mayor Clarkson has done a great job for us during his time in office and I would absolutely vote for him again. That said, I would like to see Bill push for the city of San Ramon to be more proactive in enforcing San Ramon's "ugly laws", to require landlords (and homeowners) to take better care of their properties. The condition and appearance of our community has been on the decline for many years now and something needs to be done. Right now San Ramon's "ugly laws" are only enforced if someone in the community files a complaint...and even then the process is painstakingly slow before any meaningful action is taken. Part of the challenge is that San Ramon is such a transient area with so many renters, who quite candidly don't always take care of the property they are renting with a pride of ownership mentality. Rumor has it that some parts of South San Ramon are as high as 59% rental properties. So my idea is to impose a parcel tax of some value...let's say $250 per year for non-owner occupied properties....and use this pool of money to be more proactive in enforcing our "ugly laws" to get homeowners to take better care of their properties. This additional $20 per month in taxes for a rental property isn't going to break anyone, especially in these high rent times we are will more than likely get passed along to the renter anyway. The end result is that the city will then have some resources to proactively work on making our community look better, which will in time increase all of our property values as well.
This may not be the ultimate fix-all idea...but it's one I wanted to throw out there to get the juices flowing, so that we can get our public officials to start working on a solution, or the degradation of our community will continue. Any other ideas from anyone? If so, please put them here so Mayor Clarkson can read them! Thanks for reading!

15 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 4, 2016 at 9:16 am

San Ramon is in decline and looking "ugly?" Have you ventured out of your bubble into the real world? But yes, let's pass another tax. That always fixes problems, especially when there isn't one.

4 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Yes, San Ramon...especially South San Ramon is in decline. We moved here in 1996 and will have lived in the same home 20 years in June. The decline in the community is very evident as you drive around. We've watched numerous homes that were in great condition get sold and then their condition deteriorates over the next few years. Homes with broken down vehicles that have been sitting in their driveways for years. Side yards that are full of weeds and overgrown, with trash stuck in the bushes. And I know the drought had an impact on all of us, but the number of yards that have been let go and just died out and/or turned to weeds is too many to count. We've even got a neighbor on our cul-de-sac that is a Sr. Engineer for the city of San Ramon that added on to his house about 10 years ago and one of the upstairs windows got broken right after it was done....and that same broken window is still there today. Have you ever heard of the "broken window theory"?
Please read this from Wikipedia:
"James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling first introduced the broken windows theory in an article titled Broken Windows, in the March 1982 The Atlantic Monthly.[1] The title comes from the following example:
Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.
Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars."
So, please take a drive down Broadmoor Ave from Montevideo all the way to Alcosta....and take the time to drive down any of side streets you choose...pick a few...and see if you don't honestly think that the general overall condition of our community is in much worse condition than it was 10 years ago? I've discussed this with numerous people within the community and they all see it also. I even have a good friend of mine that used to live on Broadmoor and moved to Chicago suburbs 12 years ago and he recently came back to visit and noticed right away that the neighborhood had deteriorated. Thus, I'm not saying that a tax is the I stated, it's just an idea. But my real intent is to get the conversation started within our community about how do we bring awareness to this situation before it gets worse. So, please....instead of condemning me for my idea, how about contributing some alternative ideas? My hope is that if we get enough people talking about this, then someone might come up with a great idea to help address the situation....or even better yet, maybe we start a grass roots awareness within our community and the pendulum might start swinging back to the side of people taking pride in their homes and yards again. Another idea I have would be for the city to put yard signs in the front yards of homes that are spending money to improve their properties, that says something along the lines of "San Ramon thanks you for your investment in our great community!" The city knows when people are making capital improvements in their properties, because a permit is pulled to do it wouldn't cost that much to create some community pride by acknowledging those folks that are improving their property. Again, not saying this is the perfect fix all answer, just throwing some ideas out there. Would love to hear some other ideas??? Thanks again for reading...

2 people like this
Posted by Jerome
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm

San Ramon has way too many parks - many are way underused. Brought this to Clarkson's attention and his response was promote more parks! I'm not against parks, they are important for parents and children. My proposal is to initiate a process to access evaluate how much each park is used and then to close the underutilized and sell the property for new homes

1 person likes this
Posted by Frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 9, 2016 at 7:08 am

Will he in seeking to be re-elected seek also to protect local residents from excess freeway traffic from being dumped onto the ONLY side road through this valley?

Ask him for his backing to protect the citizens who pay all the bills!!

A mayor is to serve AND protect the citizens who pay the bills all the time.

1 person likes this
Posted by Sayed
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 31, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Yes, I agree with Chip. South San Ramon is declining badly. Walmart has done much damage with the 18 wheeler all day and night, out of town shoppers who leave the shopping carts on the streets near bus stops and lack of police presence. I guess the mayor has done a good job for areas where the political contributions are high, Windemere and vicinity. Speeding on Alcosta, drug sales and theft has become daily issues for the residents of S. San Ramon....

Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm

San Ramon Police need to be more proactive in citing teenagers who are drinking underage and smoking marijuana. I don't care if it's legal they should not be smoking marijuana it in public or drinking underage. The police have been very lienient towards these kids and we are seeing more mischief.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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