“The first thing I’m going to do is make all city employees wear bow toes,” he joked, a reference to his own neckwear, chosen to make the occasion a little more special.
The occasion, the regular post-election reorganization of the council, saw Clare take a seat on the dais following his victory in last month’s election. Councilman Erick Stonebarger and Mayor Bob Taylor were also chosen by voters in the 2012 race. Stonebarger won his second term on the council, while Taylor will serve his third term as mayor.
The installation and swearing-in ceremonies came after the council bade an appreciative farewell to two-term Councilman Bob Brockman, whose re-election bid failed. State and county dignitaries on hand to offer their thanks included newly elected State Assemblyman Jim Frazier, who scurried over to Brentwood immediately after receiving his own farewell as a councilman in Oakley.
“You’ve been a stalwart advocate for your community,” Frazier told Brockman, adding that he expected Brockman’s service to continue in some capacity. “I know you’re not going away. You don’t have that type of personality.”
Brockman said he would, indeed, continue to be involved in city matters. He admitted that losing the election left him “broken-hearted,” but liberation from the grueling schedule local elected officials adhere to also left him “somewhat relieved.” Brockman has served a total of 15 years on the City Council, the Planning Commission and in other city appointments.
The list of things he is most proud of starts with the 2003 General Plan revision that reduced the city’s planned population from 105,000 to 75,000, and proceeds though a long list of projects including new state-of-the-art sewer and water plants, downtown improvements and construction of the new Civic Center.
“But what I’m most proud of,” he said, “is to leave a community of 50,000 residents that is financially stable and poised to meet its future challenges.”
After thanking city staff for the work they have done and the respect they showed him, Brockman addressed family members seated in the audience.
“You sacrificed the most, and made it possible for me to participate,” he said. His voice filled with emotion, Brockman then bid a final “adieu” to the public and made one last request of his about-to-be-former colleagues: “Keep my city well.”
Like Brockman, Stonebarger gave his family (which stood by as he was sworn in) credit for supporting his demanding schedule. “All our families pay a tremendous toll,” he said, “especially during silly season (elections). Thankfully, silly season is over, and hopefully we can get down to work.”
In his remarks, Taylor agreed that the price paid by families of elected officials was high. He thanked voters for their confidence in him, and city staff for its superb work and support.
“You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” he said.
The council also selected Councilman Joel Bryant to serve as vice-mayor for the next two years, performing mayoral duties when Taylor is unavailable. The meeting then adjourned to the lobby for cake and refreshments, and entertainment provided by the Summerset Singers.