Guest view: Life after mayoralty

By Steve Tate

I loved being the mayor of Morgan Hill. It is a great community and it is the people who live, work and volunteer here that make it such a wonderful place. I’ve now turned the reins over to our new mayor, Rich Constantine, and have complete faith that he and new council members Yvonne Martinez-Beltran and John McKay will join with veterans Larry Carr and Rene Spring to keep Morgan Hill really special and improve our quality of life even more.

When I announced in 2016 that I would not be running again in 2018, people started asking me what I would do after I left, and that question reached a crescendo this fall. When the Times asked me to write an article giving my perspective upon leaving office, I said sure, and thought I would use the opportunity to focus on that question—maybe not figure out what I am going to do but at least determine the approach I will take.

Assuming that my savings, pension and Social Security provide enough income that I won’t need a job and can still do some travel, I will be looking for volunteer opportunities. Of course with the stock market’s recent crash, employment may again become a need!

First off, I do plan to continue with the non-mayor related activities that I spend about half my time on now, and expand my role working with a couple of non-profits on whose boards I sit.  

For the Boys and Girls Club, now locally resident at the Friendly Inn on Crest Avenue, I want to establish an ongoing interaction with the kids and not just attend regional meetings up in San Jose. For the Edward “Boss” Prado Foundation, again I want to get more hands-on and interact with the clients we serve and our other volunteers on a more regular basis.

In addition, I plan to continue to serve as an ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce and to join the Sister City Committee, which I worked with as mayor. I also want to pick up a Friends of the Library bookstore shift—something I gave up when mayoral duties got in the way.

With those expanded roles as priorities as well as my duties in Rotary Club and on the St. Louise Foundation Board, I will need to prioritize other possible activities and select which ones to do in a way that will assure I don’t overcommit. There are so many possibilities because there are so many worthwhile organizations in Morgan Hill that need volunteer support in many ways.

I’ll list some of the organizations of interest, in no particular order or priority; I will need to explore possibilities in these organizations to see which have the greatest interest to me and best meet my skills in order to prioritize:

• Morgan Hill Community Foundation

• Community Law Enforcement Foundation

• Downtown Association

• Learning and Loving Center

• Morgan Hill Historical Society

• Leadership Morgan Hill

• Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce

• Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center

After a couple of months of “unwinding” from being mayor, I’ll be pursuing specific opportunities with these organizations, finding ways to work independently of the city but with the same objective everyone within these organizations has: making Morgan Hill even better.

I will also keep up with what is going on in our city, as there are many open issues: high-speed rail location (if it happens), attracting jobs, affordable housing for low-income earners, traffic congestion relief, building the Catholic High School and the baseball/softball fields, expanding medical services in and around the De Paul Center, and so on. I won’t be a “regular” at city council meetings, but I will be there when I have an opinion to share or a cause to advocate.

Morgan Hill has come a long way in my 27 years of service, and I am confident that the people of Morgan Hill will continue to work together to keep it truly special.

Steve Tate just completed his sixth consecutive term as mayor of Morgan Hill.

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