Vernon mourns passing of John Van de Kamp
Vernon, CA – Vernon Mayor William "Bill" Davis and members of the Vernon City Council
today expressed their profound sadness and deepest condolences to the family of John
Van de Kamp upon learning of his passing yesterday.
John Van de Kamp most recently served as Vernon's Independent Special Counsel. He
issued his 12th twice-yearly assessment of the city's good governance policies and
practices on January 31.
Mayor Davis said, "It is with our deepest regard and respect that we mourn the passing
of John Van de Kamp, a man who began as our trusted good governance advisor and,
over time, became a dear friend to the people of Vernon and its vibrant business
community. We send our condolences to Mr. Van de Kamp's family and friends in their
moment of sorrow. We join them in saluting Mr. Van de Kamp's memory and legacy of
good works in Vernon, Los Angeles County and the State of California."
Mayor Pro Tem Yvette Woodruff-Perez said, "I am saddened by the news of John Van
de Kamp's passing. He came to Vernon at a time of great challenge for our city. He
advised our Council with great respect for the changes we would undertake and stood by
us as we fulfilled our pledges to implement good governance reform measures. John Van
de Kamp will be missed here in Vernon. The work he performed as our advisor will never
Council Member Luz Martinez said, "I celebrate John Van de Kamp's life and work. He
came to Vernon to provide advice and counsel at a most difficult time in our city's history.
His work, recommendations and encouragement enabled Vernon to travel on a path to
reform and to never stray from that path of good governance. We owe Mr. Van de Kamp
a debt of gratitude for his commitment to our city and its leadership. We send our prayers
to his family and friends in this time of mourning."
Council Member Melissa Ybarra said, "We honor John Van de Kamp memory on this day
and express or deepest sadness to his family and friends. Mr. Van de Kamp advised my
late father Council Member Michael A. Ybarra during the height of Vernon's reform
process, and he advised me in the same fashion as my father's successor on the Vernon
City Council. He was always resolute in his advice: Do what is right. Do your work in an
open and transparent manner. Stay on the path of good governance and ethics. We have
done that thanks, in large part, to John Van de Kamp's work with our city. I will continue
to honor Mr. Van de Kamp's advice to me."
Council Member Leticia Lopez said, "The City of Vernon that exists today is grounded on
a framework of ethics and good governance because John Van de Kamp agreed to come
to our city to serve as our independent advisor, reform monitor and special counsel. The
people of our city and business community should be forever grateful to Mr. Van de
Kamp's for his special contribution to the City of Vernon. He was, in no small measure, a
major contributor to our city's survival. We are saddened by his passing. We honor his
work and memory. I send my deepest condolences to his family and friends. We have all
lost a very good man who personified the term: public servant."
Vernon City Administrator Carlos Fandino said, "This is a very sad day in the City of
Vernon. John Van de Kamp was a close and trusted advisor to me when I became our
city's administrator in March 2016. The recommendations Mr. Van de Kamp provided to
our city helped make Vernon stronger. We are a model city in Southeast L.A. County
because Mr. Van de Kamp cared enough to help guide us through one of the toughest
times in our city's history."
Former California Attorney General and L.A. County District Attorney John Van de
Kamp was retained to serve as Vernon's Independent Ethics Advisor in February 2011
at the height of the city's battle to defeat a state legislative measure to disincorporate
The good governance reform process that city leaders pledged to implement as a result
of AB 46, led city leaders to expand Mr. Van de Kamp's role to that of Independent
Reform Monitor. A further evolution of Mr. Van de Kamp's role led him to named
Vernon's Independent Special Counsel in 2015. During his tenure advising Vernon City
officials, Mr. Van de Kamp saw more than 150 good governance reform measures
approved by the city.