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Pleasant Hill Council Says Hello And Goodbye

Council welcomes two new members and bids a fond farewell to Mayor John Hanecak

The City Council welcomed two new members to its house while it said goodbye to a longtime occupant.

On Monday evening, newly elected councilmen Ken Carlson and Tim Flaherty took the oath of office along with returning councilman David Durant. All three were victors in the Nov. 6 election.

City Treasurer Mark Celio was also sworn in for another term while newly elected City Clerk Kimberly Lehmkuhl took the oath of office from departing City Clerk Marty McInturf before swearing in the other office holders herself.

All three elected council members thanked their supporters and their families for helping lead them to victory. Durant was also thankful to receive a return visit.

"I want to thank the citizens of Pleasant Hill for allowing me to serve you for another term," he said.

The new council's first order of business was to select Councilman Mike Harris as the new mayor and Councilman Jack Weir as vice mayor.

The spotlight also shone Monday night on retiring Mayor John Hanecak, who did not run for re-election after eight years on the council.

Hanecak received a number of commendations, including a resolution from the state Legislature presented by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and Mark Herbert, district director for state Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.

Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, a former Pleasant Hill City Council member, presented Hanecak with a resolution from the county board.

Durant praised Hanecak for his honesty, integrity and dedication.

"He is a tremendous advocate for the city of Pleasant Hill and its citizens," said Durant.

Weir remarked on Hanecak's sense of humor, including a time when two warring council members asked the mayor to offer a solution to their hotly contested dispute.

"John thought for a few moments and then said, 'Water balloons at 20 paces,'" recalled Weir. "John's sense of humor has been very, very important."

Hanecak recalled how he was afraid of public speaking until he took a class on the topic at Diablo Valley College. Hanecak was accepting a job as a high school teacher and overcame that fear. He now teaches that public speaking class at DVC.

Hanecak thanked the employees at City Hall as well as his supporters. When he talked about his wife and two children, he became choked up and had to stop for a few moments before finishing his remarks.

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