Bill Clarkson is completing his second term as Mayor of San Ramon.  He is termed out of office in December 2020 and does not plan to run for another office after serving on the San Ramon Valley Unified School District School Board and the San Ramon City Council. 
He started his presentation by commenting on his connection with Castro Valley.  Bill grew up in Okaland and San Lenadro, and his grandparents lived in Castro Valley.  He shared that as a 12-year old, he used to take the bus from Oakland to Golden Tee Golfland on Castro Valley Blvd. 
Before sharing what's new in San Ramon, Mayor Clarkson stated that he was mystified why Castro Valley was not a city because the citizens have ceded decision-making to leaders who do not live in the community.
Click here to watch the video presentation.
Mayor Clarkson shared his observations of city government leadership based on his years of experience.  These observations included
  • The #1 priority of any city government is public safety for its citizens.  He noted that despite calls to defund police departments, San Ramon has increased spending for its police department ti maintain the safe and secure environment that the city has enjoyed.
  • The most contentious decisions surround land use and zoning issues (e.g., housing, open space, economic development).
  • He noted proudly how San Ramon has worked with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and other agencies to maintain open space in the hills on the western side of the city and in the Tassajara Valley.  Mayor Clarkson encouraged everyone to drive out to the Tassajara Valley to see the beauty of the region.
  • In terms of zoning, the Mayor discussed how state regulations impacts local zoning for housing.  Under state guidelinbes, San Ramon is required to provide 5,000 additional housing untis,
  • San Ramon has decided to concentrate 4,500 of those units in Bishop Ranch.  Most of the units will be studios, 1 or 2 bedroom condos or townhouse split between rentals and for sale units.  The reason for locating most of the hosuing in Bishop Ranch is that residents will be close to their work, which will help reduce trafic in San Ramon.
In the Q&A, Cliff Sherwood explained why Castro Valley is not a city and Mayor Clarkson commented on the need for a tax base, which requires a business base, to support the operation of a city.
Click here to watch the video presentation.