Out With the Old and In With the New

Don Gosney


There’s a certain order to things when new councilmembers are sworn in.  It’s a process that has largely been unchanged since people started electing their neighbors to represent them.

Such was the case tonight when Mayor Tom Butt, Councilmember Eduardo Martinez and new Councilmembers Demnlus Johnson III and Nat Bates were sworn in for the next four-year term.

Before the actual swearing in, however, outgoing Councilmembers Ada Recinos and Jovanka Beckles were thanked for their service.

Each of the members of the Council were given an opportunity to thank the outgoing councilmembers and extoll the numerous positive things they had done for their community. 

Jovanka Beckles chose not to run for reelection to the Council instead opting to see if the East Bay wanted her to represent them in Sacramento as their newest member of the State Assembly.  She was not successful

Ada Recinos was appointed to the Council in September of 2017 but her effort to win a seat through the electoral process was equally unsuccessful.

Proforma, the City awarded both Beckles and Recinos with parting proclamations and wall plaques. Their friends rushed up with bouquets of flowers.  The crowd went wild.

And then came the changing of the guard.  City Clerk Pam Christian administered the oath and the Council once again became whole.

Each of the newly elected members of the Council were allowed to say a few words thanking their supporters, their family members and, with the two new Councilmembers, God. God was in the house at this event.

To round off the process, the current Councilmembers welcomed their new colleagues.

In case there was any question about the results of the vote count after November 6th, each of the new Councilmembers brought along their own cheering section and there was an unofficial contest to see which of them could warrant the most and loudest supporters.  If you’re interested, Councilmember Johnson has been blessed with a lot of friends and family—A LOT.

It’s often at meetings like this where many of the speakers tempt fate and the future of their souls. It’s not that they tell out-and-out lies.  It’s just that what they say about departing officials is sometimes difficult for the truth to get its arms around.  Many of the speeches about outgoing officials often remember things differently than the archives reflect.  But the speeches are usually rosy and uplifting.  It’s an integral part of the process.

And then the new Council sends a clear message about how much better the new Council is going to be than any previous Council, how they’ll all work together and what we can expect them to accomplish.

The process is the same with only the faces changing.

The clock is running and we’re all watching to see whether we have a new Council or whether this Council went to school with the old Council and the public can expect more of the same.

And if you want to watch them take their solemn path to represent ALL of us, try this link:  I Solemnly Swear...

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