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Belvedere’s longest-tenured employee dies, is honored by the city

Belvedere Public Works Superintendent Gerhard Laufer, the city’s longest-serving employee, died of cancer Nov. 24 at his home in Mill Valley. He was 66.

Born Aug. 31, 1957, in Wiesbaden, West Germany, Laufer started working for Belvedere on Sept. 11, 1989, less than two years after he came to the U.S. He handled much of the department’s daily work, including monitoring work sites, encroachment permits, concrete pours and road closures, which put him on a first-name basis with many in the community.

“In a world where government workers frequently migrate from one agency to another, I think it’s extraordinary to find someone with this level of dedication that stayed with the city for 34 years and would gladly accept another 34 years if he was still here with us today,” City Manager Robert Zadnik said at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting.

During the meeting, Laufer was honored with a memorial proclamation, which Zadnik presented to Laufer’s wife, Lidia. Zadnik had been Laufer’s immediate supervisor as public-works director from 2016 to 2022, when he took over as city manager.

Zadnik said he’s encouraging residents and friends to sign a photo of Laufer in the City Hall lobby over the next couple of weeks, and it will be presented to Lidia. A copy of the photo and proclamation will be hung at City Hall, he said, and a city has created a website, at, for residents to post photos, comments and stories.

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