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Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson leaves office

August 21, 2009 |  9:28 pm

Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson announced tonight that he was leaving office effective immediately due to declining health. Here's the statement the Board of Supervisors released on his departure:

    Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson announced Friday he is leaving office immediately, after serving     on the Board of Supervisors for more than three terms.

    “I’m saddened by the news,” Board Chairman Jeff Stone said. “Roy Wilson’s dedication and courage in     representing his district has been an example for anyone who holds public office. This county is a much     better place because Roy was a member of the Board of Supervisors.”

    In a letter to all Riverside County residents, Wilson announced the decision and said it came     because of a sudden decline in health and the need for treatment. No other information was available.

    “My years as your supervisor have been wonderful years for me, both professionally and personally,” Wilson, 74, said in his letter. “I am grateful for the continuing support and trust that you, the voters, have given me all these years. I extend sincere thanks to my wife, family, friends and colleagues who have guided and supported my efforts for the 4th District. Especially, I thank my incredible staff. Their energy, commitment and competence have been the key to the success of my service to you.”

    During his tenure on the board, Wilson championed issues including the environment and public safety. His support was pivotal in the adoption of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. Along with other board members, he held public safety as the county’s top priority. 

 Supervisor Wilson helped lead the way in developing highway improvements that became vital as the         Coachella Valley burgeoned into a suburban and resort community. He fought tirelessly for poor         residents and to ensure that migrant farm workers had decent living conditions. He also pushed plans that led to numerous new sheriff’s and fire stations, libraries and community centers.

    By law, the governor may name a replacement to fill the remainder of Wilson’s term, which     runs through 2010.

    Wilson was first elected to represent the 4th District in 1994 and was reelected to a fourth term in 2006.  The 4th District is the county’s largest, stretching from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea, and east to the California-Arizona border.

Before becoming a supervisor, Wilson spent more than 33 years as an administrator and professor at         California State University and 27-plus years at College of the Desert. While at College of the Desert, he served for more than 20 years in municipal government as a planning commissioner and a city councilman in Palm Desert.  He served four terms as the city’s mayor.

His other service includes 22 years as a governing board member for the South Coast Air Quality      Management District, 24 years on the Riverside County Transportation Commission and 14 years on the     Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District.

In addition to civic duties, Wilson has been active in professional journalism organizations, his teaching     specialty. He has served as president of the California/Arizona Journalism Assn. of Community Colleges and president of the national Community College Journalism Assn.  In 1995, Wilson was inducted into the Community College Journalism Assn.'s Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. He is the author of a textbook used throughout the United States and in Canada.