Longtime Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty announced this week that he plans to retire after next year when his current term runs out in January 2021.
Haggerty has spent the last 23 years on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, currently representing District 1, a 440-square-mile swath of Alameda County encompassing the cities of Livermore, Dublin, most of Fremont, and settled with cattle ranches, vineyards and businesses like Lawrence Livermore Laboratories and Tesla Motors.
“I've been in public service for probably over 30 years now," Haggerty told the Weekly on Friday about his decision. "My children over the 30 years have put up with a lot, and I think that it's just time that I spend a little time with my kids. They live back East and that's a lot of travel."
Haggerty is currently serving his sixth four-year term on the Board of Supervisors; he was first elected to the board in 1996. Since then, he has become particularly known for his work on transportation issues like the Warm Springs BART extension. In February, he was unanimously elected to a two-year term as chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a position he previously held from 2009-2011.
The 62-year-old Tri-Valley native was raised in Fremont and now lives in Livermore with his family. He used to represent Pleasanton for years on the county board until the last redistricting cycle.
Haggerty also holds board seats with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Association of Bay Area Governments and the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority, in addition to being a member of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority and Tri-Valley Transportation Council.
The last 18 months of Haggerty's tenure will be "action-packed," he said, including trying to complete Valley Link commuter light rail system that will extend public transit between the Dublin-Pleasanton BART stop and the North Lathrop ACE Train station, which he believes "will get done," building a new fire station in the Altamont, and undergrounding power lines running down Tesla Road in Livermore. He also hopes to "figure out how to get families who are working, and families who are not working, living in their cars, into housing" during his remaining time in office.
As for his successor, Haggerty said, "I hope the supervisor that comes in will continue to focus on housing, transportation, but I think the biggest crisis is the issue of homeless and mental health."
At least one local political figure is already eyeing Haggerty’s seat; State Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), who currently represents southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County, announced last week that he plans to run for the open spot in the 2020 election. Wieckowski's declaration came just a week after he dropped out of consideration for the 15th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), who is a U.S. presidential candidate.
Haggerty's supervisorial seat will first appear on the ballot in the primary election next March. If a candidate receives over 50% of the vote, they will win outright; if not, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff in the general election in November 2020.
Representing District 1 "has been a joy of my life," Haggerty said, adding that now's "time to hand it over to somebody else. It's been an extreme pleasure to represent the people in the Tri-Valley."