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During their Thursday evening meeting, the SJCOG Board of Directors bid goodbye to Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum, Stockton Vice Mayor Elbert Holman, Lathrop Council Member Steve Dresser, and Stockton Council Member Susan Lofthus, who are all finishing up their final days in public office and Caltrans District 10 Director Dennis Agar who is transferring to Caltrans Headquarters in Sacramento."I can say with a great deal of pride that this group is always collegial," said SJCOG Executive Director Andrew Chesley. "The team-building among yourselves is truly inspiring when it comes to serving not just your community, but the region as a whole." Each of the members received a plaque
First elected in 2002, Steve DeBrum has served four terms on the Manteca City Council and was elected as Mayor in 2014. He has served on the SJCOG Board for 15 years. Currently retired, he is involved with Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis and Future Farmers of America. DeBrum lost his bid for re-election in the November mid-term and shared his gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the board. "We've come to a point that we have accomplished a lot in this county and there are a lot of things yet to do," he said. "It really takes a team and I want to thank everyone for the work they do. This is bittersweet."
A life-long resident of Stockton, Elbert Holman was appointed to the Stockton City Council in 2009. Holman has served on the SJCOG Board for 5 years and is stepping down after being termed out of office. Before being elected to the council, he graduated from the FBI National Academy and spent 34 years in law enforcement. He is active in the community as a member of the NAACP, Sunrise Rotary, and as a vocalist and elder in his church. During the meeting, Holman highlighted a fateful night at Dante's Pizza in 2009, when community members insisted something be done about Thornton Road - a project that is now nearing completion thanks to funding from Measure K. "I've served on a lot of boards with the city of Stockton and the region, and I'll tell you I don't find many that are more professional or get more done than this board here," he said. "It's truly a pleasure to work with each of you and to serve our community in the capacity that we do."
Steve Dresser was elected to the Lathrop City Council in 2012 and is a long-time resident of Lathrop. He has served on the SJCOG Board for 5 years and is stepping down after losing his bid for re-election in the November mid-term. Dresser thanked the Board and staff for their support during his time on the board. "We are the lifeblood of the county. Transportation is the biggest and most important thing in our region," he said. "Everything else we do happens because of transportation."
Elected in 2014, and appointed to the SJCOG Board in 2016, Susan Lofthus shared memories about her father, Ort Lofthus, who was instrumental in the construction of the SR-4/Crosstown Freeway and the widening of I-205. Lofthus expressed appreciation to the board and staff. "I am happy that the last four years of my life I have been where I've been," she said. "I will miss this committee the most of everything."Dennis Agar was appointed to the position of Caltrans District 10 Director in 2014 and has served as an ex officio member to the Board. He is leaving D-10 to serve as Chief of Maintenance at Caltrans Headquarters. Agar shared that in his 4.5 years as D-10 Director, Caltrans delivered $1.1 billion dollars of construction projects in San Joaquin County. "That's amazing," he said. "I'm proud to have this great partnership."
The SJCOG Board is responsible for all policy decisions under the authority of SJCOG, as the designated Council of Governments, Regional Transportation Planning Agency, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Airport Land Use Commission, Local Transportation Authority (Measure K), and Implementing Agency for SJCOG, Inc.
New members will be appointed in January 2019.