The San Ramon City Council bid a fond farewell to its departing member this week, as Councilman Harry Sachs is leaving the city’s governing body after five years at the position.
Sachs, who decided to not run for re-election this year in order to focus on family and teaching, was honored during a ceremony of recognition at the council’s regular meeting Tuesday evening.
“It’s been an honor to serve and be part of such a great group of people. It takes a great many people to make the city such a special place to live, and it’s been a real privilege,” Sachs said at City Hall. “The challenges never stop and this city is in good hands. We want to welcome (Councilwoman-elect) Sabina Zafar to the council and wish her the best of luck.”
Community leaders, public officials and San Ramon residents joined together to honor the dedicated civil servant with kind words as well as gifts at Tuesday night's meeting, which marked Sachs final full meeting on the dais, with Zafar due to be sworn in next month.
“Harry served San Ramon as a hardworking and thoughtful City Council member who worked tirelessly to communicate openly and transparently with the community. He kept our residents well informed and as such was able to share a resident perspective in our decision-making process,” Mayor Bill Clarkson said.
A San Ramon resident since 1999, Sachs served the community in a variety of municipal roles since 2003 and was then elected to the City Council in 2013 -- the same year city voters approved of switching San Ramon to even-year council elections, giving Sachs an extra year on his term.
Sachs announced his decision to not seek re-election in April, citing a desire to focus on his career as a teacher and to spend more time with his family, particularly his growing children.
“Continued service on the City Council, if re-elected, would simply mean the time, energy and commitment the job needs would not be going to my family,” Sachsheis decision.
Sachs, an eighth-grade history teacher at Walters Junior High in Fremont, has been a teacher in the Fremont Unified School District since 1998.
While serving on the City Council, Sachs has contributed toward the city’s transition to Marin Clean Energy, the lowering of housing density in the Crow Canyon Specific Area Plan, the approval of the City Center complex and the formation of the city's Library Advisory Committee.
Showing a plethora of interests and skills, he has served on a variety of city and county commissions including the San Ramon Planning Commission, Economic Development Advisory Committee, TRAFFIX governing board, Valley Children’s Museum Board, Tri-Valley Water Council and the County Iron Horse Trail committee.
“After working with Harry on the Planning Commission and City Council over many years, I personally appreciate his commitment to make decisions that balance housing, jobs and open space in San Ramon,” Vice Mayor Phil O’Loane said. “These decisions helped preserve the natural beauty in and around San Ramon.”
Sachs vacant seat has been secured by Zafar, finished comfortably in second place in the election, with Councilman Dave Hudson leading the way to earn re-election.
Zafar will be sworn in during a ceremony at the City Council’s regularly scheduled Dec. 11 meeting.