Dick DeWees, mayor of Lompoc, died from complications related to a prior medical condition at around 9 p.m. Thursday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
DeWees was elected to a two-year term as mayor of the North County city in 2008.
“The city council and city administration extends their most sincere condolences to Mrs. DeWees and the DeWees family,” read a statement from the City of Lompoc Friday morning.
Funeral arrangements are still pending and a press conference was scheduled by city officials for 10:30 this morning.
Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum said in a statement that DeWees was a true public servant. “He took his job seriously, did his homework and gave thoughtful answers to issues before SBCAG. As Mayor of Santa Barbara, I will miss his hearty laugh and his common sense comments in our meetings together.”
Joe Armendariz, a Carpinteria city councilmember who served on the SBCAG and LAFCO boards with DeWees, said he was “shocked and sad” to learn of the mayor’s death. “Dick was a dedicated husband and father as well as a fine public servant with a great sense of humor. He loved the City of Lompoc and represented the people of Lompoc exceptionally well as their elected Mayor.”
U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly also had kind words for the deceased. “[He was] more than a legislative colleague,” Gallegly said in a written statement. “He was an ally and personal friend. The relationship we built over the years greatly benefited our mutual constituencies. My heart goes out to his family. I will miss his leadership and friendship.”