Outgoing Sebastopol mayor urges end to bitterness

Two new members were seated on the Sebastopol City Council Tuesday night, in a meeting where the outgoing mayor made an eloquent plea for the city to reunite after what had been a divisive and bitter election season.

"We are at a crossroads, in the sense that we just finished a difficult and somewhat contentious election campaign," said Mayor Guy Wilson, who did not seek re-election.

Things were said and feelings were hurt, maybe not by the candidates themselves but by their supporters, and it belied Sebastopol's small-town friendliness, Wilson said.

"As we go forward, there does need to be some coming together. It will be a challenge for the new council to appeal to people's better sensibilities," Wilson said.

The election winners seated Tuesday were Robert Jacob, 35, and John Eder, 59.

During the reorganization, Vice Mayor Michael Kyes was elected mayor and newcomer Jacob was elected vice mayor.

Jacob and Eder both were opponents of the CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch project planned for the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership at one of Sebastopol's most prominent and busiest intersections.

That project polarized the city as it took more than two years and two dozen often emotional meetings to get through the planning process. It was approved in a controversial 3-2 council vote.

The issue also shaped the City Council elections, in which personal attacks were made against some candidates and city staff.

Jacob, founder and executive director of Peace in Medicine, which has medical marijuana dispensaries in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, received 29.4 percent of the vote.

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