The newly elected Rohnert Park City Councilmembers were seated during the Council meeting on Dec. 13. The newly elected members are as follows:

District 1: Samantha Rodriguez

District 2: Emily Sanborn

District 5: Susan Hollingsworth Adams

Council members serve four-year terms that expire at staggered intervals. City council seats in Districts 3 and 4 will be up for election in 2024. Rohnert Park residents can see which district they live in using the online interactive map.

The city recognized outgoing Council member Pam Stafford for her 16 years of council service.  Council member Stafford served three terms as mayor. She has also served as the chair of the Rohnert Park Planning Commission, a board member of the Sonoma County Adult & Youth Development, a board member of Community Outreach for Youth & Families and a commissioner for Sonoma County Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission. Council member Stafford was instrumental in guiding city policies throughout the years. 

“I didn’t do anything by myself. Everything that was done in this city was a joint effort. Whenever I think about working as a council member, I couldn’t have done anything without the staff. They bring us great ideas and help us make things work the best way that we can,” said Councilmember Stafford. “We have been successful because we have a great bunch of people who work in Rohnert Park helping the great bunch of people who live in Rohnert Park. Thank you to the amazing staff, my fellow Councilmembers, and the citizens of Rohnert Park. We truly are the friendly city.” 

The council also congratulated Council member Jackie Elward for her one-year term as Mayor. 

“Thank you to all the department heads and staff for making a dream into reality. Thank you for trusting me and walking by my side,” said Council member Elward. “My job as mayor was to do what was best, and what will always be best, for all citizens of Rohnert Park. I wanted my leadership to be one that unifies people and brings forward voices of minorities in ways they haven’t been before. Not only did I want to put our city on a local map, but on a global scale as well. To all my colleagues and constituents, thank you for supporting this council and me. I hope you are proud of what has been done under my leadership.”  

After being sworn into office, new Council member Sanborn commented, “I am so happy to be here in the seat, and it's not a spot I would’ve pictured myself when I moved here 22 years ago when I was attending Sonoma State University. In parenting, I have become extra immersed in the community. That compelled me to become more involved. I couldn’t ignore the calling in my heart to serve in a way that I have not yet served our community, and I want to thank you all for supporting me.”

The Council members unanimously selected Samantha Rodriguez and Susan Hollingsworth Adams as mayor and vice mayor. The mayor and vice mayor serve a one-year term after the council selects them each December. 

“Thank you all for believing in me and trusting in me to be your voice. Along with our residents, the staff here really make this city. Thank you for the work you do and the trust you give us on the dais,” said Mayor Samantha Rodriguez. “In 2023, I want us to keep breaking barriers. We just had our first female black mayor, and now our first Latina mayor. I am looking forward to working with our first female city manager and keeping Rohnert Park on a global level.” 

“We had a great year, and I am looking forward to another wonderful year,” said Vice Mayor Susan Hollingsworth Adams. “Some of the best reasons to be in Rohnert Park are the staff and all the little things they do for the community. I also want to recognize our residents, who are the driving force behind this council. Thank you all for your continued support.” 

“Congratulations to everyone. We are at an important juncture in the city’s development,” said Council member Gerard Giudice. We will need to stay focused as we continue to make progress on our general plan, downtown development, and other strategic priorities. I am looking forward to revisiting these priorities during the council goal setting in February. Rohnert Park is the most unique community in Sonoma County. Our future is bright, and we must keep it that way by working hard and not leaving anyone behind.” 

To get in touch with the Rohnert Park City Council, visit the City’s website. You’re invited to participate in upcoming city council meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at 130 Avram Ave.

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