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Statement on the Passing of Council Member Mark Mitchell

Post Date:11/08/2018 11:07 AM

Lafayette Mourns the Loss of Council Member Mark Mitchell

Memorial Service Sunday

LAFAYETTE, CALIF., Nov. 8, 2018—The City of Lafayette is mourning the loss of Council Member Mark Mitchell, who passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Monday, November 5. Council Member Mitchell, who was first elected to the Lafayette City Council on November 6, 2012, after being appointed to the Planning Commission in 2001, served as the City’s Mayor from 2015-16. He has been hailed throughout the community as truly dedicated to Lafayette, his life-long home.

Lafayette Mayor Don Tatzin said, “Mark was a thoughtful and dedicated public servant and we are all saddened by his passing. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Mark was the type of person we should want to emulate. He was particularly helpful in improving the relationship between the City and the Lafayette School District and working to improve the East End. Mark’s actions reflected well on the City and on him. He served on the Council for one reason: to better the City, not to enhance his position or draw attention to himself.” 

While serving on the Planning Commission from 2001 to 2012, Council Member Mitchell, who was Chair of the Commission in 2008, worked on a number of long range documents and policies that set the framework for development in Lafayette.  Always displaying great deference to the general plan, some of his work as a planning commissioner included updating the general plan and its housing element, helping to guide the downtown specific plan, revising the hillside ordinance and the rezoning hillsides to low-density residential, creating more realistic guidelines for senior housing, and supporting creation of the Lafayette Library & Learning Center.

“During my years in Lafayette, I’ve not met a person who loved our City more than Mark Mitchell. His political philosophy was simple:  Whatever is best for Lafayette,” said City Manager Steven Falk. 

“As his City Manager, there were periods where Mark and I spoke to each other every single day.  I will miss his curiosity, his positive attitude and encouragement of good staff work, his willingness to change his mind if he heard a better argument, his willingness to embrace an unpopular decision, and his fearlessness in defending that position.  And of course, his abiding love for all things Lafayette.  Mark Mitchell was just a very fine, amiable man who chose to live his life as a citizen,” Falk added.  “He always put his community before himself, and for that, he deserves our highest respect and honor.”

There will be a celebration of Mark Mitchell’s life on Sunday, November 11, at 1:00 p.m., at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Lane, in Lafayette. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made to any charity that residents and friends feel is important to them or to Habitat for Humanity (  Mark volunteered with Habitat throughout his life. It united his love of building and his love of community.

Please share your memories of Mark in the City of Lafayette’s Electronic Memory Book here. Your memories will be shared with Mark's family and will remain posted in City’s Electronic Memory Book devoted to Mark. 

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