By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Gabe Kearney was formally appointed as Petaluma’s seventh City Council member on Monday, as the other six members passed a unanimous resolution installing him before the meeting’s closed session.
On Feb. 28, the council informally voted 4-2 to appoint Kearney to fill the remaining two years of David Glass’ council seat, left vacant in January when he was seated as mayor. Petaluma is the only city in the county to separately elect its mayor and councilmembers.
A formal resolution was necessary Monday to officially install Kearney.
Kearney became the apparent compromise candidate among 19 applicants for the seat, which could be a swing vote on controversial proposals that come before the notoriously split council.
Kearney, a liberal Democrat, drew support from the progressive-backed Tiffany Renee and business-backed Mike Healy, Mike Harris and Chris Albertson. Glass and Barrett, also in the progressive bloc, supported other candidates. After the 4-2 vote, Barrett and Glass joined in to make the symbolic vote unanimous.
Kearney, 29, lost in November in his second bid for a council seat. He is active in the Young Democrats and statewide Democratic party politics.
Members of the business-backed coalition said they felt Kearney will have an open mind when development proposals come before the city.
Kearney will have an opportunity to show his political style when the Deer Creek Village project, anchored by a Lowe’s home improvement store, comes before the council for approval as early as this summer.