! A free celebration, “Mayor Bogaard Appreciation Day,” to honor Mayor Bill Bogaard for his 16 years of dedicated service as Pasadena’s top elected official, will take place today at City Hall.
Mayor Bogaard has decided that it is time for a change in lifestyle, to hang up his hat as Pasadena’s mayor, and spend more time with his grandchildren.
By Robin Southworth
Born William Joseph “Bill” Bogaard in Sioux City, Iowa, he attended the University of Michigan and University of Southern California, graduating from Loyola Marymount University, eventually receiving his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan (where he also taught). He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, moving to Pasadena in 1971, before becoming the longest-serving mayor in Pasadena history.
Under Bogaard’s leadership, Pasadena has developed into an urban lifestyle city, featuring what are called “mixed-use projects” (buildings with retail and restaurants on the ground floor and residences on the floors above) and light rail (with six stations in Pasadena), with significant residential development along the Gold Line corridor. He has continued to keep Pasadena’s architectural heritage alive, celebrated, and protected, such as Heaven and Orange Grove Boulevard. He attributes the uniqueness of our city to the spirit, goodwill, and capability of our community. The arts have been an important part of Pasadena since its early history. The city Master Plan, under Bogaard, has guidelines for public art installations, as well as a temporary public-art plan, involving a public-art installation in each of our seven council members’ districts.
Pasadena still faces challenges, according to Bogaard, specifically, transportation. He is excited about the light rail extension to Azusa, looking forward to the day when that extension eventually reaches Ontario Airport. He continues to work on an upgraded Master Plan for bicycling, believing that one day, Pasadena residents can get around our city without needing to use a car for every trip. Even though he is looking at the end of his tenure, he continues to work toward transportation alternatives for reducing traffic congestion and reliance on the 710 freeway.
Bogaard must have done something right as mayor because, in 2003, he was re-elected to office with an 85+% majority of the votes. A definitive majority in anyone’s book. A man of modesty, he has refused to take credit for Pasadena’s expansive economy under his leadership. He attributes the city’s success to having the right plans at the right time.
We give our thanks to Mayor Bogaard’s wife, Claire, their four children, and his grandchildren for sharing him with us. We are grateful. Enjoy “retirement” and your family, Bill. We are sure it won’t be long until you are back in the public eye. Until then!
> Mayor Bogaard’s last day in office will be May 4, 2015.
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