Santos, who was age 86, died Monday at his home, surrounded by family.
He served a total of 18 years as an elected official in
A retired insurance claims manager, Santos was first elected in 1984 to the
He served again on the council from 2000 to 2006 before he became mayor, taking over from
While Santos secured the most first-place votes during his second mayoral contest, he failed to keep his seat because of ranked-choice voting -- a system he supported as a way to save money in run-off elections -- and lost out to
"I want everybody who lives in this city, who works in this city, to be proud of it," Santos said in a farewell address as mayor. "Not to say you're entitled to something because you live here. But you need to contribute to this community and to this city."
Santos was mayor during the recession, and the dismal economy made for a rough time in the city's top elected post, with
But under his leadership the city still broke ground on a
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of an outstanding public servant and long-time
As mayor, Santos helped the city secure a
He also spearhead the creation of a group that works to curb the sound of jet aircraft from
"We have achieved a special quality of life in our city, expanding and preserving open space, strengthening public safety, and keeping our city's financial base strong while other communities struggle," Santos said in 2010, when he was running for re-election as mayor.
During his farewell address Santos, who had lived in
"They are not as represented as they should be," Santos said.
He urged the public to support unions, pointing to the benefits of good wages and pensions that his family enjoyed through membership to show what they can do to help people achieve a better quality of life.
He also was a staunch advocate of public transportation and tried to regularly take an AC Transit bus from his home in the Marina Faire neighborhood to
Santos' background included serving on the
A native of
He graduated from
After returning to the
He worked in insurance for almost 50 years, including for
Growing up during the Depression, Santos' childhood hero was President
Survivors include his wife, his son Michael, and his daughter
Santos's son Michael serves on
A viewing will take place
Mass will be at
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