Morgan Hill’s new council members and mayor took their seats on the City Council at the Dec. 12 meeting, ushering in a new wave of leadership for the city.
Rich Constantine was sworn in as the city’s new mayor, Yvonne Martínez-Béltran took the seat for council District B and John McKay took the seat in District D.
Constantine was was sworn in first, followed by the two new council members. McKay and Béltran was surrounded by their families as they took their oaths.
It was the City of Morgan Hill’s first oath of office ceremony since the council adopted a district-based system, in which only the mayor serves the entire city at large. Starting with the Nov. 6, 2018 election, individual council members represent the district in which they were elected within the city.
Outgoing Mayor Steve Tate was honored by California State Sen. Bill Monning, who thanked Tate for his decades of service to the city and gave him a certificate of recognition. Monning also thanked outgoing council member for District D, Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz, and presented her with a certificate.
Newly elected California District 30 State Assemblymember Robert Rivas was at the meeting and wished Tate well. “You’ve been a tremendous leader and role model for so many,” said Rivas. He gave Tate a certificate of recognition from the assembly and told Tate, “You leave a significant footprint.”
The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill also presented Tate with a certificate.
The council members who were not up for re-election this year, Larry Carr and Rene Spring, offered their thanks to Tate for his time as mayor and to Jachimowicz for her time as a council member.
“I hope we’ll continue to do things you will be proud of,” Carr told Jachimowicz, who was appointed to her seat two years ago. She replaced former Councilmember Gordon Siebert, who resigned in 2016 about halfway through his four-year term.
Constantine said to Tate, “You have left a huge footprint for me to follow.”
As Tate gave his closing remarks, he held back tears while thanking community members and city staff. “It’s all about the people, I’ve loved this job” said Tate. “We’ve got a city that knows how to get things done.”
He said although he won’t be holding public office in the future, he still hopes to help the city find a way through what he identified as the biggest issue Morgan Hill faces: maintaining revenue. Now he will be helping the residents of Morgan Hill from the sidelines.
“I think it’s time that we move along and get some new people up here,” he said.
Jachimowicz also had some farewells to share. She thanked city staff, residents and colleagues for supporting her in her position. “I promised I would put in the work and I would do my homework,” said Jachimowicz. “While there’s not a single person that I voted with at every meeting, I hope that I’ve upheld those promises to you.”
She also shared a special message for the children of Morgan Hill and her daughter, Penelope, in particular. Jachimowicz said, “You are never too young, or too blonde, or too female to be taken seriously. It is your job to exceed everybody’s expectations and I hope I’ve done that.”