Bonham selected as Susanville mayor
Former councilmember and recently retired Lassen County Sheriff Rod DeBoer was also honored with a plaque for his three-term, 12-year run on the council. DeBoer lost by 40 point to Franco in the June 3 election.
Sayers and Callegari joined Franco in reciting the Oath of Officel, then Franco took a seat on the dais.
The first order of business for the new council was to elect a Mayor. The mayor takes on a similar role as a Chairman or president of a board. Sayers opened up the discussion by directly addressing Callegari.
“Two years ago, we did something different,” said Sayers. “and I have appreciated it every single minute, the job that you (Callegari) have done. To bring this council and this city together, to work like we have. We’ve had many a problem, and you have never faded or hesitated to jump right in. So today, I’m going to something a little different, and I’m going to nominate Kurt as the mayor.”
Templeton immediately seconded Sayers motion. Before Callegari asked for a vote from the council, Bonham leaned over to Sayers and jokingly asked him if he was sure that’s what he wanted. And with a quick unanimous vote, Bonham took over the lead position for the city.
Callegari then made a motion for councilmember Templeton to retain his position as mayor pro tem, which was summarily approved.
“As Doug mentioned, we made a little bit of a change in how we approached the city,” Bonham said. “Lino did not have to come back, he’d been mayor from 2002-2004. The fact that he came back has made a tremendous difference in the city. I have said all along that everything he has been doing has made a difference. He opened up the city, from this position, welcoming the community as a whole to come back.”
“Everybody was treated fairly no matter what was going on. His approach to city staff has been excellent. We have some trying times ahead of us, but (Callegari’s) approach has brought transparency back to this council, it’s helped (City Administrator Rob Hill) bring transparency back to this community.”
Bonham added Callegari’s leadership has gotten people back to believing that they are first on the councilmembers’ minds.
“I really do appreciate your leadership, and if I could be half the leader you are, I’ll turn out pretty good,” Bonham said.
Callegari then said a few words in recognition of the event, briefly explaining about his history with the town and why he loves the community.
From working in the lumber industry, playing football for Lassen Community College, working in the city’s road department and Lassen County Sheriff’s Office to his eventual leap into local politics, Callegari said his love for the town will keep him here forever.
“Susanville has been very good to me and my family, and I plan to be buried here,” Callegari said at the end of his speech. “Thank you all, and I’ll serve you the best I can.”
New councilmember Franco also added a few words, explaining his excitement and eagerness to help contribute to the community.
“I’ve been in the audience many times watching Lino do his thing,” Franco said. “One thing I’ve always appreciated was his corporate memory of how Susanville has developed to its current state. That knowledge and experience is irreplaceable. I’m very humbled by being seated here with these folks and I hope that we can learn to work together and communicate. I think the transparency (Bonham) talked about is really necessary for us to be successful in the future.”
Callegari has begun his sixth term on the council, while Sayers has begun his fifth.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18.
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