San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson to step down in 2020 with career milestones



Mayor Bill Clarkson will step down from his position after reaching the three-term limit.

During his three terms (2011-2020), San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson achieved many goals under his four primary themes: public safety, infrastructure, preserving open spaces and developing housing only in the downtown to protect neighborhoods.

Clarkson has lived in San Ramon for 43 years, and through these years, he has made various specific contributions to the community, participating in the Homeowner Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the PTA and the SRVUSD Board of Education. After years of experience with community organizations, Clarkson chose to run for mayor of San Ramon.

“I’m kind of old-school, and by ‘old-school,’ I mean it’s our duty as citizens to be involved in our community, whether it’s your church, your school or sports program. You need to be an involved resident to contribute and to participate,” Clarkson explained.

During Mayor Clarkson’s three terms, he has upheld his commitment to public safety.

“We are one of the safest cities, and that is one of the most critical missions we have as community leaders: to make sure that our community is a safe place, first and foremost,” Clarkson said.

In addition to public safety, San Ramon has undergone several infrastructure developments that have improved the standard of living in the community, such as the new San Ramon Library, Bella Vista Elementary School, a new City Hall, a new City Center and the development of a walking district.

Ever since Clarkson was elected in 2011, none of the new developments on the San Ramon hills have been approved by the City of San Ramon. He has also worked with the East Bay Regional Park District to accommodate open space in order to protect the hills and open spaces from development and population growth. 

Clarkson took a step further to protect existing neighborhoods from the effects of growth and development. The city moved housing zoning to the Bishop Ranch area, which holds the job market, retail stores, walking district and public transportation.

“Since states are going to force us to build homes going through [the] future because of the housing crisis, as they call it, we want it done only in Bishop Ranch and not in our existing neighborhoods and never in our open spaces. We were able to accomplish that. So, we’re very proud of that,” Clarkson stated.

During Clarkson’s terms, San Ramon has overseen a large volume of development in his four core areas. The mayor is very confident that the city is moving in the right direction in terms of its development and future plans.

“We’ve accomplished that stuff. Now, we still have the walking district, which is the downtown area. We have Central Park, we’ve got the lake. We have hiking trails and parks and lots of cool things that we want to accomplish in the walking district. But we’re moving in that direction,” Clarkson explained.

Due to the three-term limit for mayors, Clarkson will have to step down as mayor in 2020. Clarkson plans to move on from his hectic life as mayor to a more versatile life where he will spend more time with his grandchildren and take people out on history tours, both in San Ramon and elsewhere. Overall, he wants to be a family man and advise San Ramon residents and officials on issues.

“[I hope] they spend most of their time listening to the residents and to what people are saying —  what they want, what their concerns are, what their dreams are. And I think that if you spend time doing that, it’s hard to go wrong,” Clarkson expressed.