Born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Bob is the oldest of two children. Raised in a career military family, Bob and his family frequently moved throughout the Pacific and United States. In the late 1950's, Bob, his brother, Steve, and his parents, Ruperto and Gregoria Sampayan settled in Salinas, California.
His parents taught him that if you wanted something, you had to work for it and as such, he worked in the fields to earn enough money to purchase the extras he wanted. This was a humbling experience and a way of life for other Salinas young people and him.
Bob worked his way through college by driving school buses and trucks, pumping gas, and working on cars. He attended Hartnell Community College and San Jose State University, majoring in Criminal Justice. Shortly after finishing school, Bob joined the Salinas Police Department, then the Palo Alto Police Department and eventually the Vallejo Police Department in 1985.
During his tenure in Vallejo, Bob served as a patrol officer, field training officer, and detective. He managed the Cadet Program, Police Reserves, Civilian Volunteers, the Crime Prevention Unit and the Citizens’ Academy. As Sergeant, he supervised the Central Community Substation in Downtown Vallejo. Bob specialized in homicide and forensic investigations during his career, as well as working with the FBI on cases with a national scope.
He enjoyed a very successful 37-year career in public safety before retiring and working for the Fighting Back Partnership for four years. In his role as the Crime Prevention Coordinator, he helped organize the City’s citizen volunteer graffiti paint-out program and helped organize over 200 neighborhood watch programs throughout Vallejo.
In 2011, he ran for and was elected to the Vallejo City Council. During his five years as a Council member, he helped to ensure financial stability as the city exited bankruptcy. He successfully advocated for the establishment of a 15% budget reserve as part of a long-range plan for stability. Besides working on financial issues, Bob also worked to help Vallejo increase the number of Public Safety employees.
In 2016, he ran for and was elected as Vallejo’s first Filipino American Mayor. With a wide coalition of support, Bob has built bridges and associations that have furthered the responsible growth, economic development and improved the quality of life of Vallejo residents. Bob has also made housing a priority for the council, to ensure tenants’ rights and a sustainable solution for the unsheltered.
Bob has two grown children, Arianna and Rob and two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Braeden. He lives in Vallejo with his loving wife, Ramona and their pups, Roxie Anne and the latest addition, a rescued pup from China, BeBe Bug.
Being your Mayor, I have the opportunity to represent Vallejo in many area organizations, agencies, and boards.