Remembering Ken Mercer | January 17, 2014 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 17, 2014

Remembering Ken Mercer

This photo showing former Mayor Ken Mercer with members of the Pleasanton City Council in 2007 was one of his favorites, standing in the Council chambers where he served our community for 16 years. Mr. Mercer, 71, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held Jan. 25 in the Pleasanton Senior Center.

Here's how city leaders remember Ken Mercer:

* Nelson Fialho, City Manager: "I cannot understate the many contributions made by Ken Mercer during his tenure on the Pleasanton City Council and as a three-term mayor. He was one of the primary forces behind the Pleasanton that we have today, and he created much of the positive synergy between the business community and the residents. His passing is a tremendous loss for the people of Pleasanton."

* Jerry Thorne, Mayor: "As Pleasanton's first directly elected mayor, Mr. Mercer set the standard for all of us who have and will follow him. He led this city through some rough times such as the Prop. 13 budget crisis. His 'get it done' leadership style put Pleasanton on the path to becoming an economic and jobs powerhouse in the East Bay. This city will continue to benefit from his leadership for many years to come because of the leadership he provided to build the Stoneridge Shopping Center and the Hacienda Business Park."

* Former Mayor Jennifer Hosterman: "We always want to remember those who have passed in their best light, but in Ken's case, there is no other. He was the friendliest, most cordial, warm and charming gentleman, who placed his community at the center of his heart and soul. He was approachable to a fault. I recall a summer evening when I had an issue so pressing I looked up Mayor Mercer's number in the phone book, shocked to find it so publicly available, and called him. He answered! It was a very hot night, and I shared that we didn't have air conditioning and he replied that his family didn't either, affirmation that we were somehow bound by the same first world problems."

* Former Mayor Bob Philcox: "Ken Mercer was an extraordinary individual. I was Mayor when he was elected to City Council and he quickly became a significant asset to the group. As a young man he had cut his teeth in politics as an aide to Assemblyman Carlos Bee and he approached his work as a Councilman with great passion. We worked together on Stoneridge Mall and Hacienda Business Park and his efforts in bringing those projects to fruition were exemplary."

* Former City Councilwoman Becky Dennis: "I remember Ken Mercer for encouraging resident involvement. Looking back, it seems to me that he valued civic debate and, as Mayor, created many citizen forums for the thoughtful examination of controversial issues. He set a standard for community participation, consideration of diverse opinion, and stakeholder inclusion that persists to this day.

* Former City Councilwoman Sharrell Michelotti: "Ken Mercer's legacy to us all is the Pleasanton we all love and enjoy today. He was a 'Mayor of the People' who inspired participation in major decisions facing the city, a wonderful spokesman and leader to be reckoned with for the betterment of this city and its people. He was the driving force that made things happen: Hacienda, city-school shared facilities, and ValleyCare Medical Center coming to Pleasanton. He never stopped giving his time, energy, influence and heart to make this community a better place in which to live."


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