News

Stepper unanimously selected to serve as mayor of Danville for 2020

Blackwell to serve as Vice Mayor for coming year

Longtime town councilwoman Karen Stepper was named mayor of Danville for the fourth time on Tuesday, after her fellow council members unanimously selected her to hold the position for the coming year.

Stepper was selected during the 38th Annual Mayor’s Installation and Community Service Awards held at the Village Theatre and Art Gallery in downtown Danville. Danville mayors are chosen from among the five town council members, as opposed to being elected directly by the voters.

“She has had the pulse on the community for so many years now, she is active with our youth, our seniors, our veterans, and she is also very involved not just locally but regionally,” said councilwoman Renee Morgan, who officially nominated Stepper for the position.

In her inauguration speech, Mayor Stepper highlighted some of the issues she intends to tackle in the coming year, and gave a call to action for residents to get involved in their community.

“This year has had many challenging goals and the ones coming up will all involve your generosity, your education on the issues and your ability to bring others into our circle of caring for Danville. You are the catalyst that makes me proud to serve as mayor,” Stepper told the congregation. “I hope you will include some of my priorities in your priorities and resolutions for 2020.”

Stepper said her priorities for the coming year include ensuring that first responders feel appreciated in Danville, growing neighborhood emergency response teams, expanding the role of the town’s Arts District and park offerings and - perhaps chief of all - advocating for local control to the state and national government.

“To beat our drums in the halls of Sacramento to Washington D.C. to demonstrate that housing, transportation and jobs can best be improved with local decision-making and local leadership,” she said.

Stepper also said providing homeless services will also be a top priority of hers going into the new year saying: “Homelessness is mostly served outside our borders. However, with the homeless people that are... in our communities, we may not be able to build a shelter but we can be supportive of these people.”

A 16-year member of the Danville Town Council, Stepper has previously served as mayor in 2006, 2011 and 2016.

During her time as a civil servant, Stepper has also served the "Emergency Preparedness" Citizen's Corp Council, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, TRAFFIX Congestion Relief Agency, the Central Contra Costa County RecycleSmart, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, California League of Cities - Revenue and Taxation, and has served as chair of the Contra Costa Mayors' Conference, to name a few.

Most recently, throughout 2019 Stepper served as vice mayor under the tenure of councilman Robert Storer, who shared some words Tuesday night about his time as mayor.

“I still feel the same way as I did almost 18 years ago… One day it will become necessary to hand (the) torch to a younger generation that will look back on our work and hopefully say it was meaningful, they had purpose and direction, they made a difference, they made good decisions,” he said to a standing ovation.

The Town Council also unanimously selected Lisa Blackwell to serve as Vice Mayor for 2020, her first appointment to the council’s higher office.

“It is my honor to nominate one of our newer council members, but somebody who has been volunteering in the community for many many years,” councilman Newell Arnerich said. “Her activity in schools has been extraordinary.”

Traditionally council members who serve as vice mayor will be selected to serve as mayor the following year, although that is not strictly town policy.

The Mayor’s Installation and awards ceremony will be broadcast on AT&T U-verse channel 99 and Comcast channel 26, on Dec. 12 and 19 at 7 p.m., Dec. 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 16 and 23 at 1 p.m.

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Comments

27 people like this
Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 5, 2019 at 7:16 am

Fourth term for Mayor, really?

It does not matter if you are a great mayor or a not so great mayor. This post is in no way to imply that stepper is not good as being mayor. However, it is a position of the people. The whole reason we as a country were setup to have term limits, for any public position and not just that of presidency is so that "We the People" are the governors and do not fall into corruption and tyranny once again. It's a position to be shared by members of the community, not for one member to hold for a life time.


27 people like this
Posted by Dawn
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2019 at 7:38 am

I completely agree! I can not believe that this is not put to a vote and they all just "take turns" we are not heard at all by our council.


21 people like this
Posted by long time resident
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2019 at 8:17 am

She has done great things but its time to move along for her and her fellow long time buddies.. some that will actually listen regarding issues that effect the old neighborhoods instead of saying they can not do anything about a condo/townhouse project that will cause grid lock and property values going down do to people loosing privacy in there back yard and the view of looking at a big ugly building..oh yeah and we have been promised a sidewalk on West El Pintado for 20 years and all what we have got is double the traffic!!


12 people like this
Posted by Westside Dave
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2019 at 8:54 am

@long time resident. I too have lived in the West El Pintado neighborhood for over 36 years now. The "Old Town" developments were orchards then, not the pack and stacks there now. I too have long lamented the fact the city will not address the sidewalk issue. I see the kids walking on the street on their way home from school just like mine did years ago because there's no sidewalk. The freeway condo development will just add to the traffic. And when the church completes the acquisition of all the homes in the Ilo/Charles Ln.neighborhood to build a high school campus there, oh joy...


2 people like this
Posted by Hamilton
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Once again, the people of Danville get told who will be mayor! No one I know who does not live here can believe this happens! Democracy now!


3 people like this
Posted by Resident of 30plus yrs
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2019 at 8:05 pm

Stop complaining. These Council members are initially elected.
If you don't agree with what they are doing,or how long they have been in office run or get a friend to run.
This state would be better off if the majority of the voters didn't choose
their candidates by the letter after their names.


17 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Dec 6, 2019 at 8:08 am

Resident of 30 years plus,

That's part of the problem, city council members themselves have been there way to long. They only vote for themselves or for people that follow their ways. We want to vote them out and get term limits on their positions to allow the community to serve the public. Not the same tired old people decade after decade.


Like this comment
Posted by Robert Landy
a resident of Danville
20 hours ago

We have the best mayors and council. Can’t wait until next December when Lisa gets her chance. Stop crying there will be a new mayor then. In great hands now with Karen! Robert did a splendid job.


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