Saying farewell to your fearless leader is a sad occasion. But luckily, retiring Mayor Sal Torres was not leaving without a playful jab at his successor.
“Before we get started, I want to make a note of introducing a couple people. Let me start with our newly elected council members: Mr. Glenn Sylvester. Hi, Glenn. Welcome,” His Honor gestured to the newbie councilman in the audience.
After the applause died down, Torres deadpanned, “thank you for not wearing the Hawaiian shirt tonight.”
“I like that Hawaiian shirt!” Council Member Judith Christensen bellowed.
The mayor flashed a good-natured smile Sylvester’s way. “We’re gonna rib you until…whenever.”
In other big news, the “Light Up Our World” art festival is this Saturday–with music, visual art, and…other attractions.
“Together we will form the shape of a heart to symbolize our love for art and our community. Our candles will be powerful and will bring light into darkness,” the organizer described enthusiastically.
Mayor Torres cut in as if she had forgotten something crucial. “You didn’t mention anything about storytelling.”
After a beat, a look of realization dashed across the woman’s face. “I’m very sorry: Mayor Sal is going to have a story time–”
“That’s not why I mentioned it!” the mayor exclaimed as the room laughed.
“You’ll be able to see the book projected on the screen,” she tantalized the crowd. Mayor Torres deftly pulled out the exact book in question and twirled it for dramatic effect.
“Ahhhhh,” the audience approved.
“There’s way too much text in this,” Torres joked. He appeared to be holding a children’s picture book.
With the art festival sufficiently previewed, it was time to move along. “We’re on to public hearings,” somewhat regretfully announced the mayor.
Council Member Christensen rubbed her hands giddily. “Now we get down to business!”
Even though everyone began walking out on his final meeting, the mayor held no grudge. “Thank you, everyone….Have a good night….Don’t forget your coat.”
It was time for public comment. “Probably my favorite time of night over the last few years,” Mayor Torres quipped. “Let me start with the always entertaining Marian Mann.”
An older woman in a bright patterned shirt crossed her arms on the podium. “When I realized that our mayor was retiring…20 years ago he won his election and he’s been here ever since. I want to thank you.”
She pointed to the aisle seat on her right. “I’ve been sitting there 38 years–”
“I know,” the mayor murmured.
“–But you’ve done a good job. I can’t believe your kids are so old! Also, I would like to say that I like the two people that were elected to council. They’re young. They’re fresh. Sal, you’ve really done a remarkable job and you’ve always been the true gentleman.”
She smiled, but barely. “I don’t know if I should say thank you,” she waved her arm at the mayor and turned back to her chair. “Oh, all right. Thank you.”
Final thoughts: Obviously, 10 out of 10 stars to the mayor. We at The Chronicles will deeply miss you, even though we only found out about you this week.