Dozens of well-wishers gathered at Oakley City Hall prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting to bid farewell to Oakley’s founding mother. While Anderson said she couldn’t take credit for the council’s many accomplishments in 13 years, City Manager Bryan Montgomery, whom Anderson helped recruit, thinks otherwise.
“Of all that has been accomplished to improve Oakley, if there was one person who is mostly responsible for all that good work, it would be Pat Anderson. We’re very grateful for all that you did,” said Montgomery before presenting Anderson with a framed photo of City Hall signed by all the members of the city staff.
Local and state officials praised Anderson during her final night as a councilmember. When the city incorporated and elected its first council, she was the top vote recipient out of 11 candidates. During her tenure, she served as mayor three times, from 1999-2000, 2005 and 2010.
“We have a nickname for Pat up here, and it’s the ‘always mayor,’” said fellow outgoing council member Jim Frazier. “Even though she rotated out, she always was the mayor. She is leaving the council position, but she’s not leaving Oakley.”
Frazier presented Anderson with a photo album chronicling some of her achievements as a representative of Oakley. Vice Mayor Carol Rios presented her with a duplicate of the Oakley time capsule, which was created as a reminder to help councilmembers understand how far the city has come. The capsule was sealed in 1999.
“We filled this capsule with hope and anticipation for the future,” said Rios, who also joined the council in 1999. “We all knew that Oakley was going to make it, even though the county thought we were going to go up in seven years. … You helped us and gave us direction and we followed it. It’s been a real joy to work with you.”
Anderson was also presented with a proclamation from the City Council, which recognized her for “her tireless efforts to improve the quality of life and safety for the residents of the city of Oakley.” While Anderson’s time on the council is over, she’ll remain active in the community as a director of the local nonprofit Friends of Oakley and an employee of the Oakley Union Elementary School District.
When all the presentations were done, Anderson took a moment to thank city staff, her colleagues and family for their support during her career as an Oakley representative. “It’s been 14 years of having the honor of serving this community up here,” Anderson began.
Fighting back tears as she looked out into the sea of faces, Anderson reflected on her many experiences. Following her remarks, the standing room only crowd gave her a standing ovation.
“Pat will always be remembered for her calming effect on the council,” said Mayor Kevin Romick. “Always saying in a very eloquent way what was best for Oakley. She was our leader from the beginning and will be surely missed by all of us.”