With heavy hearts, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) shares the difficult news of the passing of our beloved CSDA Board Member and Past President Stan Caldwell. Simple words cannot describe the impact Stan’s dedication and leadership has had on CSDA as well as special districts in Contra Costa County and throughout the State. Stanley “Stan” Caldwell began serving on CSDA committees in 2006 and on the CSDA Board of Directors representing the Bay Area Network from 2009 until his passing. He was elected Treasurer in 2011 and President of CSDA in 2012. Sadly, Stan passed away on January 15, 2023.
“So many of Stan’s peers and colleagues appreciated and admired his dedication to both CSDA and special districts statewide. He truly loved being part of our association, leading his local chapter, and serving the public,” said CSDA CEO Neil McCormick. “Stan played a significant role in CSDA’s growth over many years and it was an honor to work with him. His passion for districts and public service will carry-on in the work we do on behalf of our members.”
When Stan Caldwell moved to Contra Costa County in the summer of 1978, the area would have had no way to predict the many ways this one man would contribute to their community. The county population at the time was under 600,000 people. It has since swelled to nearly double the size according to the 2020 census. Stan took up residency at a time when the community was growing quickly and needed community involvement to organize and manage the planning and growth. One of his first indelible acts of community organization was to help establish alternate access to the local landfill which would decrease the heavy truck traffic through narrow neighborhood streets. Stan had the pleasure of serving on the committee which was to determine where Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) should be used. The funds were ultimately used for Safety Paths for two local schools and reconstruction of Arthur Road (which included widening the roadway, installing storm drains, and sidewalks). Shortly after this time the landfill trucks were re-routed, resulting in a much safer neighborhood.
It was Stan’s comprehensive perspective and enthusiastic support of the structure of government known as special districts that earned him the prestigious 2021 William Hollingsworth Award for Excellence, the highest honor award given from CSDA. Stan didn’t stop with the road planning in his own neighborhood: He went on to make an impact on special districts everywhere through his commitment and leadership in CSDA.
One of the key aspects of CSDA’s work is a constant effort to inform the public of the function and necessity of special districts in California. Stan was a champion of districts throughout his career and recognized there are significant opportunities for the special district community to better educate all stakeholders within the communities they serve to both communicate the value and the needs of special districts and why their function is so critically important. Stan was the recipient of the 2019 CSDA Board Member of the Year Award.