With nearly five terms of two-years under his belt, Sonny Dhaliwal is already the city’s longest-serving mayor.
And whether he extends that for another two years will be a decision that will likely be coming in the near future as the longtime civic leader – who will be moving into his second decade of service to the City of Lathrop – mulls over the options with his family.
“I’ve had a lot of residents come up to me and contact me and tell me why they think that I should run again, but right now I haven’t decided on what comes next,” Dhaliwal said. “I will continue to talk to people and then sit down with family and a make a decision.
“But right now, I don’t what that decision is.”
Dhaliwal first joined the Lathrop Planning Commission in 2003 and parlayed that experience into a seat on the Lathrop City Council in 2006 – joining the city’s governing body just before the collapse of the American housing market and the fallout that would ensue.
At the time Lathrop’s local politics could be quite raucous, and that experience aided Dhaliwal in his run for mayor against Joseph “Chaka” Santos – the flamboyant and outspoken businessman that had won the mayor’s seat handily just two years prior.
While Dhaliwal has been challenged multiple times since getting elected to the city’s top post, he has also secured a sweeping mandate in many of those elections by margins that seem almost impossible by today’s polarizing standards.
While other cities in San Joaquin County that were similar in size in Lathrop at one time use the mayor’s position as a ceremonial one – rotating the title out – Lathrop has always had a separate seat that must be filled during every regular election. While members of the council receive a four-year term, Lathrop’s mayor must run every two – meaning that every regular election has three voting seats on the council up for grabs.To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544