Stafford, Callinan take over as RPís mayor, vice-mayor
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By Jud Snyder  December 14, 2012 12:00 am

Rohnert Park’s City Council had the spotlight all to themselves Tuesday night as a nearly-full council chambers watched Pam Stafford and Joe Callinan installed as mayor and vice-mayor for 2013. This annual ritual was a bit different than previous ones.
For the first time in RP’s brief history, three incumbent council members chose to run for reelection and no one in the city challenged the trio. Therefore they made it to the city council, again, with no one casting a vote for or against them.

“It felt good winning a seat without having to work for months campaigning,” said outgoing mayor Jake Mackenzie, resplendent in his tie, French cuffs and plaid Scottish kilts.

Also for the first time in RP history, it looks like the son of a Rohnert Park mayor could be named mayor a year from now. This would be the city’s first mayor, Pete Callinan, and his son Joe Callinan, who’s now the vice-mayor and in line for the mayor’s gavel a year from now if the city stays on an even keel.

All five council members played musical chairs on the dais and then had opportunities to comment on the past and the future concerning their job. Their aspirations looked forward to better than an “even keel” in 2013 with economic development often cited as the major “search engine.”

With the city slowly pulling out of its persistent deficit financing mode and the national economy improving at about the same slow rate, the quintet obviously were optimistic about the coming year.

More about this will be heard when they tackle the 2013-14 city budget, the 600-pound gorilla destined to occupy a lot of their agenda time the first five or six months.

Nothing startling was revealed in their comments Tuesday night. It was readily apparent they knew what was in store for them, much of it repetitious, but in their individual words.

In fact when new mayor, Stafford, (she’s had this role previously), noted the three previous speakers had said what she planned to say, Stafford demurred on adding to the previous comments. This drew a round of applause.

Comments from the council members also included events and structures outside city limits: SSU’s Green Music Center to the east and the Graton Tribe casino on the west side. In the middle is Spreckels Performing Arts Center, the third entertainment center located on or near RP Expressway.

Mackenzie passed the gavel over to Stafford, was presented with a gift plaque from council members, and in turn he passed out gifts to them along with packaged gifts to City Manager Gabe Gonzalez, City Attorney Michelle Kenyon and City Clerk Joanne Buergler.

Council members, spectator families and friends then retired to city hall’s lobby for refreshments.

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