The first time Steven Falk laid eyes on the Lafayette hills almost three decades ago, he was smitten with their beauty. “It seemed like I had reached some kind of paradise,” he recounted. Soon after this revelation, Falk joined Lafayette city staff as an assistant to the city manager and eventually became City Manager, a post which he held for 22 years until resigning in 2018.
Under Falk’s leadership, Lafayette experienced a modern-day renaissance. He led efforts to revitalize the commercial downtown area, improve the city’s roads, build a new state-of-the- art library and Veterans Memorial Center, acquire open space and improve the recreational facilities at the local community park. Falk gives most of the credit for his achievements to the city council and to staff, residents and volunteers. A multi-talented man, Falk also is involved in his community as a painter, musician and avid hiker.
Falk also is committed to seeking answers to the challenges of climate change, income inequality and housing affordability. As his colleague Julie Pierce, Vice Mayor of the city of Clayton remarked, “(Steven) has always believed it’s important for us to provide housing for all ages, all incomes. He was able to get senior housing, get apartment units (built), get an incredible commercial downtown that has made a tremendous difference to the city of Lafayette.” Since his resignation as City Manager, Falk has volunteered for advocacy groups, is writing and is continuing to champion housing affordability and reducing greenhouse gases in the region.
For his commitment to sustainability and focused housing development that “fits” a specific community, Steven Falk is being honored with a 2019 Bay Area Metro Award.