Pat Eklund graciously accepted the challenge of serving as Novato's mayor for a record fifth time on Tuesday night after her cohorts unanimously voted her into the ceremonial but high-profile role.
Eklund, who first joined the council in 1995, had served as mayor pro-tem over the past year during Denise Athas' stint in the hot seat. Also Tuesday, Councilman Eric Lucan was unanimously voted in as mayor pro-tem by virtue of earning the most votes in the last council election in November 2011.
“Serving as the mayor, and as a representative and a voice for the people of Novato, is an honor,” Eklund said. “I approach every day in this role with a dedication to improving the lives of our community, strengthening our neighborhoods, and maintaining the character and spirit of our city.”
The mayor chairs the council meetings, signs official documents and appears as the city's representative at public and ceremonial occasions.
Eklund presented Athas with a gavel plaque and an orchid plant during the reorganization, prompting a hearty ovation from the audience. Over the past year, the city made critical cost-saving deals with labor bargaining units, addressed tough budget cuts, dissolved its redevelopment agency, opened a gymnasium built in collaboration with the school district and broke ground on new city administrative offices.
“During Mayor Athas’ tenure, our council made an unwavering commitment to transparency and open government — to have our city consistently provide our community with helpful, timely and accurate information that affect their daily lives," Eklund said. "That commitment continues to be a priority.”
Athas said she fulfilled a promise that Novato residents would find a strong partner in City Hall.
“I have, and will continue to champion, efficiency in our development processes, continue strong listening and communication efforts, and maintain an open door policy to everyone," she said. "I want everyone to come to know that Novato as the best place in Marin to do business and to establish business, and will work with my colleagues and staff to ensure that Novato stays competitive and grows in a smart, balanced way."
Source: City of Novato