Crowds cheer Pleasanton's new mayor, City Council members
Mayor Jerry Thorne sworn in with Jerry Pentin, Karla Brown
The installation of Pleasanton's new mayor and two newly elected members of the City Council played to a full house Tuesday night, first at an hour-long reception at the public library and then during standing-room-only ceremonies in the council chambers.
Longtime Councilman Jerry Thorne was sworn into office as mayor by Family Court Judge Steve Pulido of the Alameda County Superior Court, followed by a standing ovation and cheers from the near-200 onlookers in the room. Thorne then moved onto the council dais where now-former Mayor Jennifer Hosterman relinquished her seat and stepped down.
The installations of Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin to City Council seats followed, with Brown being given the oath of office by City Clerk Karen Diaz and Pentin being sworn in by former Judge Ron Hyde. Then both new council members took their seats, Pentin replacing Councilman Matt Sullivan and Brown taking the seat occupied by Councilwoman Cindy McGovern.
Hosterman, McGovern and Sullivan received resolutions and statements of praise for their work from State Senators Ellen Corbett and Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. They then left the council dais for the last time after serving the Pleasanton-mandated term limits of eight years in their elected positions.
For all, both incoming and outgoing elected officials, it was an emotional evening as they thanked their constituents, campaign supporters and families, many of them were at the proceedings.
"This has been one of the most challenging periods in my life and it's been an honor and a privilege to serve the entire community," Hosterman said in her farewell remarks. "No other city that I know of is as well served and cared for by its elected representatives as Pleasanton."
Sullivan, who began his public service as a member and at times chairman of the Pleasanton Planning Commission, and McGovern, who served on the Pleasanton school board before her election to the City Council, heaped special praise on City Manager Nelson Fialho for his work as the chief executive of the city.
"He is a leader, friend and has been a confidante," Sullivan said to Fialho, who was sitting nearby, and again to the loud applause of those in the council chambers.
In taking office, Mayor Thorne thanked his campaign team, including his long-time campaign manager and treasurer Kathy Narum, who also is a member of the Planning Commission. The two served together on the board of the Pleasanton Seahawks, with Narum succeeding Thorne as president of the organization that Thorne said is now one of the premier swim teams in the country.
Thorne said that in 2001, former Planning Commissioner and well-known community volunteer Jack Dove suggested that he consider running for a seat on the City Council. Recently retired from a career with Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, a political office was the last thing on his mind, Thorne said. But with further encouragement by the late Juanita Haugen, at that time a member of the Pleasanton school board, he took the plunge and became more involved in pubic work, serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission where he eventually became its chairman.
"Now it's time to put rubber to the road and get busy as the city's new mayor and with a new council to achieve more great things for the city we serve," Thorne said, in turning to the night's limited agenda.
Thorne and Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, who remains on the council with two more years to serve of her eight-year term of office, praised each other for "productive" campaigns in the recent election, where both vied for the mayor's post.
In one of his first actions, Thorne, with the council's approval, appointed Cook-Kallio vice mayor for the coming year.
Thorne was elected mayor Nov. 6, receiving 11,980, or 54.6%, of the votes cast in the mayor's race, compared to 9,740, or 44.7%, for Cook-Kallio.
Until Thorne's council seat is filled in the spring, the council will function with just four members.
Thorne was first elected to the City Council in a special election June 7, 2005, and then re-elected by wide margins in November 2006 and again in 2010. Thorne has lived in Pleasanton for more than 30 years with his wife Sandi, and this is where they raised their daughter Keri.
During his Hewlett-Packard career, Thorne held top management positions, with responsibility for a $200 million annual budget and a $40 million payroll. As manager of global procurement and facilities design, he often worked directly with the city of San Jose, including its mayor, and helped streamline services to make the city more business-friendly.
Before seeking his council seat, he served 10 years on the Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Commission. He chaired the Bernal Community Parks task force and co-authored the Save Our Community Park initiative that has resulted in the construction of three baseball fields on the Bernal property, the first part of a major new sports complex planned there.
As president of the Pleasanton Seahawks swim team, he also led the effort to build the 50-meter swimming pool that is now part of the Dolores Bengtson Aquatic Center.
Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin won election to the City Council handily Nov. 6, with Brown garnering 12,460 votes, 37%, and Pentin winning with 10,624 votes, 31.6%. A third candidate for the two available council seats, Erlene DeMarcus, received 6,099 votes, 18.14%.
Pentin served four years on the city Planning Commission and most recently was its chairman. He also has been vice chairman of the city's Bicycle Pedestrian Trails Committee and was a member of the Downtown Hospitality Guidelines task force. He owns Spring Street Studios, a video production company that produces corporate videos.
Brown is a real estate broker associate with Prudential California Realty in Pleasanton and a 20-year Pleasanton resident. She and her husband Tim Belcher have been involved in the community as they raised their three daughters, coached RAGE soccer and volunteered in their schools. She currently is a member of the East Side Strategic Plan Task Force although it's not clear if now, as a councilwoman, she can continue in the role.