Monday, December 24, 2018

He Saved West Marin from a Highway and Suburban Sprawl.

Former Marin supervisor Peter Arrigoni dies at 87

Peter Arrigoni, who died this month at age 87, was named to the College of Marin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. (Frankie Frost - IJ archive)

PUBLISHED: December 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm | UPDATED: December 20, 2018 at 5:08 am

Former Marin County supervisor Peter Arrigoni, who championed the fight against plans to extend Highway 17 through the Ross Valley to Point Reyes National Seashore — saving West Marin from suburban sprawl — died Tuesday morning after a long illness. He was 87.

The longtime Fairfax resident, former town mayor and political force in Marin County politics died at his home with his wife of 62 years, Pat, at his side.

Mr. Arrigoni was born on July 10, 1931 in San Francisco. His father, Peter S. Arrigoni, was the founder of and longtime partner in New Joe’s restaurant on Broadway Street in San Francisco.

His family had lived in Fairfax for more than 100 years.

Mr. Arrigoni was a graduate of St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, where he was an all-city athlete. He was an all-conference halfback on College of Marin’s football team before graduating in 1951.

He served for two years in the Coast Guard, reaching the rank of second class petty officer while serving in the Pacific during the Korean War.

After the service, he continued his studies at the University of Arizona, where he was an honor roll student and played football; he was named as an honorable mention member of the all-conference gridiron team. He was also on the college’s baseball team, which played in the College World Series.

He graduated in 1957 with a degree in business and economics.

He was twice drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but a baseball injury put an end to his hopes to play in the NFL.

He started out as a stockbroker, working on Montgomery Street in San Francisco. He got involved in local activities, coaching in the local Little League and joining the Fairfax Park and Recreation Commission and serving on the then-Fairfax School District’s school site selection committee.

He was elected to the Fairfax council in 1964 and served as mayor in 1966.

Two years later, he decided to run for county supervisor, building his campaign on fighting plans to build a “parkway” stretching from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to the national seashore. He unseated incumbent Ernest Kettenhofen and held the seat until 1976.

Mr. Arrigoni’s campaign and victory set the stage for the county’s adoption of historic planning policies that have for decades protected West Marin’s open ranchlands from suburban sprawl.

“If we are not wise in our actions now, Marin County will suffer the same dreary fate of so much of the Bay Area and Southern California: urban sprawl at its worst,” Mr. Arrigoni wrote in 1968.

“Without Pete, we would have a four-way ‘parkway’ from San Anselmo to Olema,” said former IJ editor and reporter Nels Johnson, who covered Mr. Arrigoni and credited him for his “pioneering” leadership in re-shaping the county’s governmental structure. “Even Gary (the late supervisor Gary Giacomini) said if hadn’t been for Pete, there would have been nothing left to save.”  See full article HERE

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