Around Town | January 6, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 6, 2012

Around Town

ON A HIGH NOTE ... Mayoral elections in Palo Alto are typically feel-good affairs bursting with compliments, platitudes and back-patting aplenty. But there was nothing typical about the reception outgoing Mayor Sid Espinosa received Tuesday night just after he handed over the top City Council position to his colleague Yiaway Yeh. Dozens of speakers, including state dignitaries, environmental leaders and past mayors, praised Espinosa's year as mayor in what former Mayor Gary Fazzino, a local-history buff, called one of the most remarkable outpourings of tribute to an outgoing mayor. The immense number of speakers turned normally brief thank-yous into an hour-and-a-half affair. Councilman Larry Klein said the tribute set a new record. "I think I sat through 15 or 16 of these events for an outgoing mayor, and I can't remember anything that comes remotely close," Klein said. "It's not because someone went out and beat the bushes for all these people to show up. It's because of genuine feeling of respect and admiration and, really, love of the job that you've done this year." Espinosa also came away from the ceremony with enough props to make Carrot Top jealous. These include a poster of him dressed as Harry Potter, courtesy of Library Director Monique le Conge; a red-and-gold "Downtown Crown" from Russ Cohen, executive director of the Downtown Business and Professional Association; and a baseball cap affixed with a tiny El Palo Alto tree on the bill and the title "Mayor Sid" from Urban Cummings, board member of the nonprofit tree-planting group Canopy. After the council unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation, Espinosa said he was touched and humbled by the comments from the community and his council colleagues. "It really takes all of us to get this stuff done," Espinosa said.

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