By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Windsor on Wednesday witnessed a changing of the guard with the selection of a new mayor, seating of a new Town Council member and farewell speeches from the retiring city manager and city attorney.
Robin Goble was chosen unanimously to be mayor.
The change “was done in the most honorable way,” Goble said of those retiring after completing their service and others “ready to take over the reins.”
Saying good-bye was Matt Mullan, the town manager who has worked for Windsor and its water district in one capacity or another for 23 years and filled the top administrative position since 2005. He was joined in retirement by Richard Rudnansky, the town attorney for the past 10 years.
Both men served the longest of anyone in the young town’s history in their respective top positions. Each was lauded by the Town Council.
Mullan, who was was singled out for his “exceptional leadership and guidance,” is being replaced with Linda Kelly, who is resigning as city manager of Sonoma.
“Linda Kelly will come in and do a terrific job. The organization will reach new heights,” Mullan told council members.
Rudnansky’s position is being filled by Robin Donoghue, a senior associate with the same law firm of Meyers, Nave, which provides legal representation to more than 100 public agencies, including Petaluma and Cloverdale.
On the Windsor Town Council, Bruce Okrepkie took over the seat being vacated by Cheryl Scholar, who chose not to seek re-election after four years on the council.
Also taking the oath of office Wednesday was longtime council member Debora Fudge.
Both Fudge, an environmental planner, and Okrepkie, an insurance broker and former Windsor planning commissioner, did not have to run for office. The Town Council cancelled the election because they were the only two candidates .
Following her selection as mayor, Goble said in a brief interview that her goals include a seamless transition for the new town manager, maintaining the town’s strong financial position and adopting a balanced budget.
The Council will in early 2013 start the process of adopting a two-year budget.
Goble, a community volunteer and board member of Alta Pacific, a small business bank, said the economy appears encouraging.
“Things are looking better. We’re hoping for a turnaround,” she said.
She is hopeful some approved projects will break ground next year including Bell Village, a large mixed residential-commercial project, as well as a new hotel.
Other goals she listed include attracting and maintaining quality businesses and jobs; keeping a low crime rate and the lowest cost of police services in the county; and continuing to promote Windsor as an active and healthy community.
You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.