It’s official. Fremont’s next mayor will be Bill Harrison.
Final certified election results show that Harrison, a councilmember of six years, received 22,121 votes, garnering the most votes (34 percent) casted in the Fremont’s 2012 mayoral election.
Harrison will be sworn in at the city council’s Dec. 4 meeting, replacing interim Mayor Gus Morrison. Morrison was appointed to the position after former Mayor Bob Wasserman died in Dec. 2011.
A Fremont native, Harrison is no stranger to this town.
Shortly after Election Day, Harrison said he’s excited to get to work as the leader of the fourth largest city in the Bay Area.
His goal as mayor is to continue to build a strategic urban community – one that holds its small-town roots but is a destination for people to live, work and play.
“I think Fremont can still be that bedroom community I grew up in… and still be the fourth largest city in the Bay Area ... where kids can safely walk to school… and people and work and be entertained in Fremont," Harrison said.
To create such a community, economic development, cooperating with the Fremont Unified School District and restoring city services will be among Harrison’s top priorities, he said.
While Fremont has large retail areas such as Pacific Commons off of Automall Parkway and various shopping centers throughout the city, Harrison said there are still some unmet needs of residents. Recruiting and retaining businesses can address those needs while generating more sales tax revenue, he added.
“I want to put people back to work,” he said.
Building a stronger relationship with Fremont Unified School District is another significant mission Harrison said he would like the city to undertake. Harrison said while the two entities have different objectives, there is room to collaborate when it comes to public safety, health and traffic.
Harrison added that looking at ways for the city and school district to share facilities when it's fit could also be an option.
“There’s a historic lack of trust between the two entities. We need to start chipping away at that,” Harrison said. “We don’t do it for the glory ... We’re all in it to better the community. We do it for the kids.”
Like many cities, smaller budgets in recent years have impacted the City of Fremont, and Harrison said he hopes to see some level of restoration of city services as the city’s budget begins to grow.
Street repairs and public safety are the top two city services Harrison said he would like the City of Fremont to focus on.
While the Fremont Police Department has recently added four more officers, a newly built fire station near the heart of Fremont’s main retail hub remains out of operation. Harrison said the city never had funds to staff Fremont Fire Station No. 11, located off Lakeview Boulevard between Pacific Commons and the Tesla Auto Factory.
“We’re not providing protection to the level it should be,” Harrison said.
While Harrison is eager to start as Fremont’s next mayor, he also looks forward to working with the rest of the five-member city council.
“I’m not a person who thinks I can do it alone,” Harrison said. “We’ve always worked together as a team ... We’re going to continue to do that.
Harrison, along with Suzanne Chan and Vinnie Bacon, who received the most votes in the city council race, will all be sworn in at the council’s Dec. 4 meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Fremont Ciity Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave.
- Harrison Says He's Ready for Mayoral Seat
- Election 2012: Harrison Primed for Fremont Mayor
- Election 2012: Bacon and Chan Get Most Votes for City Council
- Election 2012: Harrison Captures Most Votes for Mayor; Bacon and Chan Appear to Win Council Seats