Les and Judy Vadasz have been chosen to be the city of Sonoma's honorary mayor and mayoress for 2013, following an outpouring of accolades at the council meeting regarding their 11 years of public service.
The couple will appear at civic events, as Alcalde and Alcaldessa, as part of a tradition going back to Mexican Rule.
Three nominations were forwarded to the city council by an ad hoc committee on Monday night. Mayor Ken Brown chose to nominate the couple, and the vote in favor was unanimous.
Many people spoke to the council in support of the Vadaszes. According to the speakers, the couple have been involved in 24 non-profit organizations in Sonoma, including Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), Meals on Wheels, Sonoma Ecology Center, Vintage House, La Luz, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma Mentoring Alliance and Sonoma Plein Air Association. The couple were described as "generous, caring, noble, thoughtful, kind and considerate."
A spokeswoman for Sonoma Valley Hospital told the council, "They just gave us a rather large donation that will help us finish our (seismic retrofit and facilities upgrade) project. They are truly focused on enhancing the health and welfare of Sonoma."
During Mexican Rule, alcaldes were in charge of a variety of important community issues from criminal justice to real estate transactions.