The Sebastopol City Council on Thursday unanimously selected Una Glass, the wife of late Sebastopol Councilman Michael Kyes, to serve the remaining five months of her husband's term in city office.
Glass, the executive director of the nonprofit group Coastwalk California, said she was ready to "hit the ground running." She said detailed discussions with her husband about city business prepared her for the job.
"Obviously I'm in a really big transition in my life," Glass, 61, said during an interview with the council in the hour preceding her appointment. "However, I felt that I have the experience and the history, and sort of the institutional memory of this city and this county, that would be useful and helpful to moving this city forward."
A veteran of public and political causes, Glass was one of four people who responded to the city's request for applicants to complete Kyes' term.
Two applicants withdrew their names in deference to Glass once they learned she had applied.
A third candidate, custom bootmaker Michael Anthony Carnacchi, owner of Apple Cobbler, remained in the running so he could present the city with some of his ideas. They included thoughts on downtown traffic and Sebastopol's potential as world center for fine industrial hemp projects.
Council members thanked him for stepping up to apply and praised the thoroughness of his application.
But council members said Glass' selection was a fitting way to fill out Kyes' term. It came after 30 minutes of council questions for her on range of issues, from the importance of economic diversification to leadership in carbon fuel reduction.
"I feel as though for the continuity of the work in progress, the respecting of the will of the voters three and a half years ago, and to carry on the work that has already been started, I feel as though I will support Ms. Glass and I would like to move that she be appointed to the Sebastopol City Council," said Vice Mayor Patrick Slayter, initiating the vote for Glass.
In her years of public involvement, Glass has volunteered with the city's Community Development Agency, Downtown Plan Committee, Urban Growth Steering Committee and its Website Update Committee.
She worked as an aide to then-Sonoma County Supervisor Mike Reilly from 2002 to 2004 and has served on the Sonoma County Home-Based and Family Owned Business Task Force. She also serves as president of Sonoma County Conservation Action, the largest local environmental group.
"I think that when you are on a city council, your charge is to use your best judgment and expertise to execute policy in the common good," Glass said. "That's kind of policy wonk talk, but I think it's not just that you're expressing the will of the people, because the people are behind you and asking you to use your brains, your expertise and your experience to figure out how to solve problems for the city and how to govern."
She said last week that she had yet to decide whether to run for a City Council seat in November.
Kyes died May 25, the morning after he suffered a catastrophic aortic aneurysm. He was elected to the City Council in 2010 and last year served as mayor.
After she was sworn in, Glass was appointed to serve on several county committees and joined the City Council in a unanimous vote to draft a ballot measure to extend and broaden the city's tax on utilities.