As with most nights filled with goodbyes and dreams fulfilled, the City Council on Tuesday was rife with emotion. The night featured more public embraces than a soap opera, more than a few people shed more than a few tears, and there were a few small surprises — Dominic Dutra quoting Oscar Wilde?!
Dutra, clearly a well-liked councilman among his peers, went first, saying he was humbled to serve and it was a privilege to serve the combined six years on the council (with two different terms). “I love Oscar Wilde’s saying: Be yourself because everybody else is taken. I tried to be myself … and I hope I made a difference.”
Gus Morrison went next (here’s a longer blog post on his farewell speech). Morrison was appointed mayor earlier this year when Mayor Bob Wasserman died. Bill Harrison replaced Morrison at the meeting. With his voice quivering, face turning flush red and eyes moistening, Morrison noted that he had served on 16 of Fremont’s 35 city councils, and served with 24 of the 42 council members. Not everyone loves Morrison (hey, ya’ cant please everybody), but the respect for him by just about all in the room was evident. The packed crowd gave him a standing ovation when he was given a pin for his 25 years-plus of service to Fremont.
Fellow council members spoke their kudos for both Dutra and Morrison. Councilwoman Sue Chan said of Dutra: “Dominic, I am so honored to know you. You have been such a servant. I don’t think people know what a role model you are to me … You will be missed. I know this won’t be the last time we see of you.”
Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan said of Morrison: “Here is a man who loves being mayor. He’s made for it, he has a passion for it, he’s convinced us that being mayor is the sexiest job on earth. (crowd laughed) He made a difference in a year; he wanted us to be a better council and, Gus, you did that.”