Howard Kerr, former San Leandro elected official, dies

Howard Kerr served in elected office on the San Leandro City Council and the Oro Loma Sanitary District.

Howard Kerr, a former San Leandro councilmember who led the effort to implement speed bumps in the city, and later served as a member of the Oro Loma Sanitary District for 29 years, died Jan. 2. He was 96.

“Howard was the consummate gentlemen. He was pleasant whether he agreed with you or not,” San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said. Monday night’s city council meeting was adjourned in Kerr’s honor.

Kerr was elected to the San Leandro City Council in 1992 and served four years on a council that include future state Sen. Ellen Corbett.

Professionally, Kerr worked as a Urban Renewal Representative for the city of Oakland for more 34 years.

A native of Durham, Calif., Kerr purchased a home in San Leandro in 1950. He became an active participant in city matters and strong advocate for the Washington Manor neighborhood he would later represent as a councilmember.

But his eight terms on the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board of Directors may have been his most significant public service.

In 1986, Kerr was first elected to the board, which represents sewage, solid waste and recycling services for roughly 47,000 residents in the unincorporated areas of central Alameda County, along with portions of San Leandro and Hayward.

Kerr served on the board for 29 years before retiring in 2015 at the age of 92.

He is survived by three kids, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held on Jan. 9, 4-8 p.m., Grissom’s Chapel & Mortuary, 267 East Lewelling Boulevard, San Lorenzo. Funeral services will held on Jan. 10, 11 a.m., Heritage Baptist Church, 2960 Merced Street, San Leandro.