Great support for Community Solutions and our new mayor

Community Solutions is one of those grassroots organizations that has flourished. It’s become an integral part of the social fabric in South County, improving lives as only a compassionate and capable social service agency can. The fundraiser to celebrate CS’s 40th birthday at Frank Leal’s impressively renovated Willow Heights Mansion, which is north and west of Morgan Hill, not only highlighted the good work done by CS CEO Erin O’Brien and her staff, but it showed off the community support that is so critical to the success of a community service agency. Master of Ceremonies Jayson Stebbins from Guild Mortgage Company really kept the program moving ahead while showing a real penchant for impromptu humor. And, if you haven’t been to the Mansion since Frank, the owner of Leal Vineyards in Hollister, bought it, try to make a point to go. It’s sharply spruced up, ready for weddings, events and soon to be open as a regular wine tasting station for Leal. Hats off to generous Gilroy McDonald’s owners Steve and Jan Peat for the donation of a limo ride and candlelight dinner auction item at MickeyD’s. Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who definitely deserves a break today, paddled up to win the Big Mac bid. Jim and Andrea Habing picked up a stunning wine lot donated by Erin O’Brien left from her late father’s wine collection. And Gilroy Councilman Perry Woodward outlasted a few bidders looking to spend a few days in the Grand Tetons. Great food, good time, beautiful setting and an organization worthy of strong support.
Support strong for our newly-elected, formerly elected mayor, Don Gage, who won the race going away. Gilroy voters, sharp as ever, gave his return to the city political arena a standing ovation. If ever the fractured city needed a guy on a white horse, it’s now. It’s a great help to a leader who’s trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again to have a mandate from the people and Don has that. So does Councilman Perry Woodward who captured the most votes in the race for the three City Council seats. Terri Aulman and Cat Tucker were applauded by voters, too, winning by significant margins. In a few short weeks, there should be a new sign hanging on the door at City Hall. “Under New Management.”Ah, breathe the fresh air, a new era is about to Don, er … dawn.
Dawned on me that we ought to have a new election law. If you run for mayor as a sitting Councilmember you should have to give up your seat, win or lose, at election’s end. Sitting City Council candidates Peter Arellano and Dion Bracco – the losers in the mayor’s race – are the examples this year. Both, despite such weak showings, will retain their Council seats. Council members should not be able to run for mayor without risk. Running from what is known as a “safe seat” should end.
Phil Robb’s career as the maestro of all the wonderful choral sounds that have come from so many students at Gilroy High School – and elementary schools, too – is coming to an end this year. He’s been appropriately nominated for Educator of the Year by GHS Principal Marco Sanchez. May I wholeheartedly second that nomination. Our former columnist, the late Huck Hagenbuch, is surely singing Robb’s praises from the heavens. I’ve listened to Robb’s student groups sing for 20-plus years, and at every single concert I’m amazed at the beauty, the discipline, the variety and the absolute clarity for the love of music that resonates throughout the room. A few days ago, daughter Mariah sent a video text from Oregon State from a concert she performed with the  chorale group. I looked skyward and again thanked Phil Robb. The gift he has given to so many Gilroy students is truly priceless.
Priceless quote of the week: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over.” That’s from the famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden who might agree with this notion, too … “If you want to know who to vote for in the next election, make a note of who takes their campaign signs down first after an election’s over.”
There’s one election that’s not over. Get on your computer, please, and vote for Gilroyan Mary Cortani at CNNHEROES.COM. She trains service dogs and matches them with emotionally wounded American veterans.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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