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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of LivermoreCandidate for City Council

Photo of Stewart W. Gary

Stewart W. Gary

8,276 votes (13.11%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Complete planning for a balanced downtown, without excessive housing
  • Fiscal responsibility - keep our budget within revenues and focus on public safety
  • Continue planning on BART to Livermore, on I-580



Profession:Incumbent, Retired Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Chief
Fire Chief, Retired (2005–current)
Vice Mayor, Livermore City Council — Elected position (2011–current)


San Diego State University Bachelor and Master's degrees , Public Administration (1989)

Community Activities

Community Volunteer, Rotary Club of Livermore (2007–current)



As a City Council member, and before that a Livermore School Board member, I have faithfully now served our community for eight years during and post-recession. As Livermore recovers from the great recession, I believe we are at a significant tipping point. I will continue to bring experienced leadership to ensure our economic and quality of life success.


When I was hired to be Livermore’s Fire Chief in 1994, I was told to “do what is best for Livermore.” In the 22 years since, our family has grown to love this community. I care deeply about maintaining and improving our quality of life, preserving open space and continuing to foster an economically vibrant, diverse community.


As Fire Chief, I led the addition of paramedics, a 5th fire station and the fire service merger with Pleasanton. As a School Board member, I served during the recession when due to state finance cuts, we had to reduce staff – without divisive acrimony. During my tenure, we hired Dr. Kelly Bowers as Superintendent and settled an historic contract with the teachers, that for the first time years, was settled without argument and the need for outside mediation.


I understand government finance given my career and I possess both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Public Administration.  As a member of Livermore Rotary Club, I support my community as best expressed in Rotary’s motto: “Service above Self.”


My leadership over the years, first as your Fire Chief, then on the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School Board and now our City Council, inspires me to ask for your support in continuing to serve the residents of Livermore.


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Extensive - See campaign web site

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


I will continue protecting open space and ensuring a vibrant quality of life in all of our neighborhoods.  We need to preserve all that gives Livermore a “great hometown feeling” as well as work towards ensuring safety throughout our city.

Fiscal Conservative

I am proud of our Council’s accomplishments to balance our budget, restore our fiscal reserves and substantially reduce our long-term liabilities. In the recession, Livermore’s city workforce was reduced by almost 100 positions. Since the recovery, we have only added back 6 positions, 2.5 of those were to the police department.

We also placed on the ballot, and it was approved, removing benefits such as health care and retirement for council members – we see council service as a part time community service, not a career.

Saving the Bankhead

I voted and worked hard, as did the entire Council, to save the Bankhead theater with public assistance after LVPAC could not retire the construction debt. However, there are always limited public funds available and the next phase of downtown development should include a partnership within the community’s vision, combining what the private sector can fund along with the taxpayers.

Open Space

I have and will always support our voter approved Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), the South Valley Viticulture preservation plan, and the Hillside view corridor. The UGB was enacted by the voters to set Livermore’s city limits in place and not allow urban sprawl, especially in the North Livermore Valley.

 I advocated preserving Springtown golf course as open space and I made the motion to place it on this year’s ballot for the voters to lock in, so that future city councils could not on their own develop the acreage.   

Community Spirit

I worked hard on bringing back our 4th of July fireworks. I had the vision to bring the fireworks celebration to our beloved downtown. I have often said, “Our downtown is Livermore’s Front Porch” to be enjoyed by all. We support many activities in our downtown, with our strong partners in the Livermore Downtown Association and all of our businesses.

 Jobs Growth

Citywide, we are thriving! We have significantly increased our economic strength and added quality jobs. From the new Toyota dealership, the Gillig Bus manufacturing to Tesla logistics to the second phase of the San Francisco Premium Outlets. A healthy business climate is the key to our continued success on all fronts. 

BART on I-580

I firmly support the community’s clear direction to gain an expansion of BART to Livermore, but only within the I-580 corridor. Regional and Federal transportation funding is now tied to “transit oriented development” – which we are trying to plan with community input. The BART area design is not approved and in the end, won’t be built without BART committing to the extension and our community accepting a village around the BART station as part of the solution.

The Downtown

I want to finish our work on the downtown plan. For over a year, I was the first councilmember - at public council meetings - to advocate that while we worked to obtain development proposals for the City owned parcel, the City’s parcels alone were too small to provide everything we wanted. Other adjoining parcels in private ownership had to be included.


The current plan being discussed is not the “council’s plan” – we asked the private sector for proposals to determine if several goals could be accomplished within the current Downtown Plan framework. We have held numerous hours of meetings to ask for proposals, review them and listen to extensive public comment. The Lennar proposal has not been accepted by myself or the council and in its current form, won’t be.


I have already stated that the height was too much on some proposals and the housing density has to be studied clear down to zero on the City’s parcel. I believe and have stated, housing is part of a livable, walkable downtown, but has to be lower in height and spread across the entire downtown. At the last large public input session, we asked staff to research further the traffic, environmental and cost aspects of the private sector proposal – given today’s downtown, not what was envisioned over a decade ago.  


I was the councilmember to propose that we connect our historic Carnegie Park to the downtown core parcel with a promenade to bring inclusion to businesses and parking on 2nd and 3rd streets and open up a long, pedestrian only open space for a variety of uses.  


When we asked staff to use the Lennar proposal on August 8th to update traffic congestion and parking numbers, for a wide range of residential possibilities, including down to zero, it was the only specific proposal that we had to model traffic and parking impacts from. Recently, two other parcels are now discussing likely residential development within the current Downtown Specific Plan allocations. At the September 26th City Council meeting, I stated that we really needed to stop and re-plan all of the housing numbers in the entire downtown. We can’t continue to parcel by parcel piecemeal planning, to accept or reject individual projects. We have one street system that has to support all of it, not just the City’s parcels.


I therefore advocated for and on a 4-0 vote (Council Member Spedowfski absent) for an immediate moratorium on processing all residential applications in the downtown until we understand the other private parcel applications and use those numbers to understand what our streets will support and what parking is needed. Under California law, a council has to first declare the need for an urgent moratorium and pass a 45-day pause. Then as a second step, the council extends the pause to be long enough to undertake the planning work. The Council will have to make the technical findings on October 10 for the 45-day period pause, and then on October 24th, extend the moratorium to match the anticipated study period well into 2017.

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