Beyond the Boardroom
Al Boro

Born and raised in San Francisco, San Rafael Mayor Al Boro didn’t move north until 1966, well after completing an accounting degree at USF and marrying his wife, Pat (they’ll celebrate 48 years in October). But his college days served as the impetus for his current calling. “I became interested in politics when I was a student at the University of San Francisco; I served on the student council and was elected student body president my senior year, 1956-1957,” he recalls. “When I moved from San Francisco to Corte Madera, I served as president of my homeowners association and was on the planning commission. It was the beginning of a very long history!”

Boro retired in 1990 after a 35-year career with PacBell and Pacific Telesis, but there was no front porch rocker in his future. In 1991, he was elected mayor of San Rafael. Since then, he’s been instrumental in rejuvenating its downtown into a lively social gathering place and thriving business center. Last year, Mayor Boro was voted Best Business Community Leader by NorthBay biz readers. This year, he’s gracing our Best Of issue’s back page.

btb.jpgDo you have a lifelong dream or ambition?
I’d like to visit and see the White House decorated for Christmas.
If you were to write a book, what would its title be?
A Positive Attitude Makes a Successful Person
If your children could change one thing about you, what would it be?
That I’d take a little more time off for myself and for my wife, Pat.
What about your personality makes you a good mayor?
I’m a good listener and I respect the views of all people.
What controversial topic do you relish debating?
The A’s versus the Giants.
What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
The comics. I love to start the morning with a laugh.
What was the most important thing your mother taught you? Your father?
My mother taught me to be kind and respectful. My father taught me to always tell the truth and to choose my friends carefully.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
In 1948, I was a bat boy for the San Francisco Seals.
What would you like to be known for?
That my public service has helped to make San Rafael a better place to live and work.
What’s one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
Chocolate.
What’s one of your favorite spots in the North Bay to relax?
Anywhere I can find a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
What do you love to do outside of work?
I love to travel, take photographs (especially of my grandchildren), garden and look at and drive cars!
What’s your favorite piece of art?
An oil painting of our four children that hangs in our family room.
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Grilled steak on the kitchen Jennair stove, and waffles for my family.
Have you ever broken a bad habit?
I cut both sugar and cream from my coffee—cold turkey!
Have you kept any mementos from childhood?
A 1948 Seals signed baseball.
How have you significantly honored another person?
By naming a park for a husband and wife who dedicated their time to making our community a better place. The Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park, located along the San Rafael canal waterfront, was dedicated in 2003.
If you could have a conversation with anyone from history, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d like Mother Teresa to tell me what motivated her and what she felt was her greatest accomplishment.
If you could look into the future and find out one thing, what would you want to know?
When lasting peace in our world will be achieved.