It was an emotional Sonoma City Council meeting Monday night, as outgoing mayor Joanne Sanders gave a farewell speech, Mayor Pro Tem Ken Brown was voted in by the council as mayor, Laurie Gallian took her seat as an elected official—having previously served by appointment—and David Cook became the newcomer on the council. Councilman Tom Rouse became mayor pro tem.
Three staff members departing the city were also honored: City Manager Linda Kelly, Public Works Director Milenka Bates (who could not be present due to injury) and City Engineer Toni Bertolero.
Laughter, hugs, a few tears and some tension punctuated the evening's business, as councilmembers disagreed, agreed to disagree, took their rightful seats, then recessed for cake before attending to other business.
Family and friends of Sanders, Gallian, Cook and staff were in attendance, bringing flowers and champagne as gifts.