0

In memoriam: Art Lampert

There was an article today about former Fremont City Councilman Art Lampert dying due to a health-related issue on Saturday. The 78-year-old had served on the council from 1972-80 and, until this weekend, served on the Alameda County Water District board.

A celebration of life in Lampert’s memory will take place April 4 at Washington Hospital. Time TBD.

Below is Lampert’s candidate statement from when he ran for City Council in 1972, provided by his family:

I pledge myself to two major goals:  enhancing the quality of life in Fremont and providing a City Government that is more responsive to the needs of our citizens.

The quality of our life (in) Fremont can be enhanced by preserving our attractive hills, by leaving our portion of San Francisco Bay relatively untouched while providing access to it for people to see it and enjoy it; by providing sufficient parks and recreational facilities so people can enjoy their leisure time here in our City; by providing well-maintained streets with continuous lanes throughout; by providing a public transportation system at a reasonable cost, that gives mobility to our teenagers and to our older citizens; and by meeting our housing needs in a variety of pleasing styles and at prices our citizens can afford, through the encouragement of high-quality housing developments that include public facilities ready for use when the people move into their homes.

Our City Government can be made more responsive to the needs of our people if the City Council holds informational meetings in the different neighborhoods of our city, so Council members can learn aout and act on, local problems and desires.  The Council should establish a City Goals Committee with broad-based citizen participation to meet at frequent intervals to establish goals for our City and to recommend programs by which our city Council can act to attain these goals.  The Council and the City Staff should work more closely with the various volunteer groups who are trying to complete worthwhile projects.  And the City Council should make the membership of the City Commissions more representative by interviewing all people who are interested in serving on these commissions before making any decisions.

I will work for these things to enhance the quality of life in Fremont and to make our City Government more responsive if I am elected to the City Council.  Please give me your vote so I can give you a more excellent city. 

Art Lampert

Linh Tat

  • Tom Meyer

    I went to high school with Art’s children Alyssa and Dave. Great family and Art was true gentleman. RIP Art

  • AMacRae

    I first met Art fifteen years ago and found him to be incredibly nice, interested in most everything that came his way and truly caring about his community.

  • Jane Mueller

    Since the beginning of Fremont’s existence as a city, we have benefited from the enormous good fortune of having people with vision step forward to lead. Art was certainly one of those leaders. He had imagination and integrity. He was conscientious, and he followed through. He could see well beyond the limits of his own term in office. He was a statesman in the true sense of the word.

    He also had a sense of humor. I have been repeating an observation of his for years but only recently learned that he was the source: he pointed out that housing developments are often named after the natural feature that was destroyed during construction. Think about him the next time you pass by a neighborhood named Oak Grove or Hillview or Shady Brook.

  • Gus Morrison

    In our 53 year history, only 41 people have served on our city council, 38 elected and 3 appointed to fill vacant terms. 2009 has been a tough year so far. We have lost two former councilmembers, Art and Tony Azevedo, and we lost our first City Manager, Bob Coop. All contributed a great deal to what we are today and I mourn their passing.

    Art Lampert was the 17th person ever to serve on the city council of Fremont. His campaign in 1972 was the first city council campaign in which I was involved. That was the year when Oakland Raider Jim Otto ran for council and there was a great fear that the council would swing toward a more developer friendly council and Art was running for that seat to keep the council directed toward a more moderate path.

    I observed his service and I had the privilege of serving with him for his last two years on council. Art set the standard for being prepared for council meetings. He always understood the issues and the facts better than anyone on council and he was never afraid to ask the tough questions of applicants or staff.

    I was pleased to read his ballot statement in the article above because there is so much in it that he actually did.

    “The quality of our life (in) Fremont can be enhanced by preserving our attractive hills,”

    Art was for preserving the hills eight years before the hill initiative started. While he was on council, the Hill Study Committee was formed and they drafted a thoughtful, complete set of ordinances to protect the hills. After he left office, the new council overturned all of them forcing the initiative process. Art later helped with the initiative.

    “by leaving our portion of San Francisco Bay relatively untouched while providing access to it for people to see it and enjoy it;”

    Art was a member of the citizen’s group which originally established the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

    “by providing sufficient parks and recreational facilities so people can enjoy their leisure time here in our City;”

    Art was most proud of our park system, both the city system and the work done with East Bay Regional Park District to establish both Ardenwood Farm Park and Coyote Hills.

    “by providing a public transportation system at a reasonable cost, that gives mobility to our teenagers and to our older citizens;”

    Art was a leader in the annexation of Fremont and Newark to the AC Transit District in 1974 when Measure J was passed for us to have a new, innovative transit system, Dial-a-Ride. While AC Transit did not continue that system, they still serve us and provide bus service for those who need it.

    ” And the City Council should make the membership of the City Commissions more representative by interviewing all people who are interested in serving on these commissions before making any decisions.”

    Art was responsible for the application process for commissions and boards. Before him, there was no formal process and the Mayor would simply place a name in nomination at the council meeting, with no advance notice for the council. Art fixed that.

    There are many other things, but he was a man who did what he said he would do, who stood up for all of us and for the future of Fremont, and who never wavered from his end goal, as he closes his ballot statement “…a more excellent city.”

    Leo Rosten wrote “The purpose of life is not to be happy. The purpose of life is to matter, to have it make some difference that you lived at all. Happiness, in the ancient, noble sense, is given to those who use to the fullest whatever gifts or talents God or luck or fate bestowed upon them.” By that measure, Art died a happy man and we are all better for his service. I know I am.

  • bbox231

    I didn’t have the opportunity to see Mr. Lampert in action but the quotes attributed to him struck such a profound chord for me – the hills that surround our community – the bay front these are treasures that need to be carefully protected and planned for.

    Mr. Lampert clearly understood the difference between a homogenous city and one which consists of disparate districts that make up our city – “Our City Government can be made more responsive to the needs of our people if the City Council holds informational meetings in the different neighborhoods of our city…” IF ONLY our current council possessed such wisdom.

    And what a prophetic piece of advice when he says – “And the City Council should make the membership of the City Commissions more representative by interviewing all people ….” – hello Wasserman and Whycowski and company – the advice is to interview ALL PEOPLE – ALL means ALL….. not just the ones you see eye-to-eye with.