Fremont City Council Unanimously Appoints Morrison Interim Mayor

Gus Morrison

Jan. 31, 2012 | After eight years in exile, Gus Morrison is back in the mayor’s office in Fremont. The City Council, short one member after Mayor Bob Wasserman’s death last December, unanimously approved the appointment of Morrison as interim mayor Monday evening.

Morrison was, by a distance, the most qualified candidate among the six remaining applicants for the job. The 25-year Fremont council veteran spent 14 years as the city’s mayor ending in 2004. He will serve out Wasserman’s final term through this November’s election and has publicly stated no interest in running for the job.

This fact was certainly the prevailing job description among the initial pool of 12 applicants. Current councilmembers Anu Natarajan, Bill Harrison and Dominic Dutra are all likely mayoral candidates and the addition of an appointee running with the added edge of incumbent was major sticking point in their deliberations.

After a round of six interviews Monday night, the council ranked candidates and tallied up the votes. Morrison received the highest total followed by Dirk Lorenz and David Bonaccorsi, both planning commissioners. Dan Wilkowsky, Beth Hoffman were next and former city manager Don Driggs placed sixth.

Morrison’s previous stint as Fremont mayor featured a large-than-life character whose confidence was sometimes misconstrued for cockiness. In both his application and Monday’s interviews, he cast himself as the most qualified person in the room.

“I know how to do the job,” said Morrison Monday night. “I banged the gavel twice as mayor and once got in between to break up a fight.”

Morrison also offered job development as one of Fremont’s greatest challenges this year. On projects surrounding the future Warm Springs BART station, he disagrees with developers who believe high density housing surrounding the station is the answer.

To the rest of the East Bay, Morrison may be best known as the man who set a road block for the potential move of the Oakland Athletics to Fremont. Despite Wasserman’s desire to bring the team to the South County, it was Morrison’s rhetoric and past contacts that created holes in the development’s efficacy across the freeway from Nummi and near Pacific Commons.

Morrison’s knack for bold, at times, radical ideas came in 2010 when he proposed ended Fremont as we know it. His plan to merge Fremont with Newark and Union City as a cost-saving measure was branded by some as Draconian and unworkable and creative and out-of-box politics to others.

The City Council will swear-in Morrison during the Feb. 14 meeting.

10 thoughts on “Fremont City Council Unanimously Appoints Morrison Interim Mayor

  1. “… it was Morrison's rhetoric and past contacts that created holes in the development's efficacy across the freeway from Nummi and near Pacific Commons.”

    Wow! What bad representation of the facts, since it was Catellus and the combined business interests at Pac Com (and NUMMI – at the time) who expressed objections to a stadium being built in their midst . . . . . NONE of which had anything to do with Gus.


  2. This big old fart. He needs to STFU, close his pie hole and sit down for 10 months. This ASSHOLE thinks it's absolutely fine for the City to require “energy efficiency” upgrades when a home is sold. Hey you BRAINDEAD OLD MAN where the HELL do you think the money is going to come from to pay for the upgrades??? F(*K YOU MORRISON you old piece of CRAP! I'm sick of these old bastards like Morrison and Tony Santos SCREWING us taxpayers!!!


  3. Mayor Gus, was a good choice. He has done a lot for Fremont.
    The ones you have to worry about are the three council persons running for Mayor.
    There will be campaigning on every issue that comes in front of the Council. I would expect some infighting also. Gus will be able to control the politics..
    Fremont Bill


  4. I think the situation calls for someone like Morrison to fill the 10 month gap. Let's see if the remaining council members can keep him from going off the rails from here to November.


  5. Anonymous #2: Is that a back handed compliment? Definition of retread: A retread, also sometimes known as a “recap,” or a “remould” is a previously worn tire which has gone through a remanufacturing process designed to extend its useful service life. I'd somewhat agree with that. He went through a life of public service, retired and offered himself up because he felt there was a need.. he's extending his useful service to the community.


  6. This is big surprise to me; I never thought council would appoint Morrison, but it did. This is going to be interesting. Gus may not have same issues Council has. Tony Santos


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