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Nesbitt and Hanley will split term as Auburn Mayor

Dr. Bill Kirby hands over the reins
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn City Council Member Keith Nesbitt took over the reins as mayor of Auburn Monday night and made the surprising announcement that Council Member Kevin Hanley would serve out the remainder of his term beginning in May 2012. During the special session of the City Council, former Mayor Dr. Bill Kirby said that it was more of an honor than he previously realized to serve a term as Mayor. In an interview last week he shared some of his favorite memories as mayor. “It was really, really nice for me to be mayor with my kids involved. They were involved in everything and they have been supportive all the way,” Kirby said. “It’s just a great, great place to live.” He listed Nesbitt’s work on the Streetscape redevelopment project among his successor’s accomplishments this year. Mayor Keith Nesbitt said along with election as mayor this year, his rotary club, the Auburn Gold Country Rotary, has elected him to be the next president. He said with that position and his full-time job, it would be in the city’s best interest to elect Kevin Hanley as mayor pro-tem. Hanley would become mayor in May. “It’s really an honor to have this position. The year goes by very quickly. Every moment is precious,” Nesbitt said. “I’ve made a decision that in May I will step down. I’m going to ask for Kevin Hanley to serve out the rest of my term. I’m going to take a line from (Charles) Dickens. Politically speaking, it may be a far, far better thing than I have ever done.” Hanley and Nesbitt were both elected to City Council in 2002. This will be Nesbitt’s second term as mayor and Hanley’s first. “I really appreciate your self-sacrifice, Keith,” Hanley said. “I was looking forward to having the Auburn Trivial Pursuit Card that said, ‘Who was the council member who served for 12 years and was never mayor?’” Nesbitt said this year would present unique challenges for Auburn, including how it may have to move forward without redevelopment funds, that he hoped the city would pull through with a “pioneer spirit.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.