COEUR d'ALENE - It's official.
During a meeting that was part ceremony, part business, the victors of the November election were seated Tuesday night as the newest members on the Coeur d'Alene City Council.
Besides saying hello to rookie council members Steve Adams and Dan Gookin - who won their races along with longtime incumbent Ron Edinger - the first council meeting of 2012 also said goodbye to two longtime public servants, John Bruning and Al Hassell.
"This being my last meeting, I just want to thank a few people," said a choked up Bruning, who lost his bid for a second term to Adams, and began the meeting by thanking city staff for their hard work. "For start, Your honor and my fellow council members, for putting up with me this last four years and for teaching me so much. I'm still learning."
Hassell, councilman or mayor for 20 plus years, chose not run again to focus on his business.
"I enjoyed it all," he said of his time as a public servant. "It's always been fun."
Both Hassell and Bruning received plaques for their service from Mayor Sandi Bloem, and were treated to a video of pictures and well-wishes compiled by Councilman Woody McEvers.
After the presentations, Adams, Gookin and Edinger took their oaths, and the victors were seated. Their first order of business included voting for Mike Kennedy as Council President.
Kennedy earned the title unanimously. After the meeting, Edinger, the former president, said he was content giving up the title since he had served in the role several times, for different mayors.
Gookin acknowledged he'd had different opinions than Kennedy in the past, but it was a good move as the new members work together with incumbents.
"In the spirit of moving forward," Gookin said. "I think it's a good move."
After the new members took their oaths and signed their papers, they mingled with friends and family during a brief recess, and chatted with incumbents, who welcomed them to the commission, before the meeting resumed.
"It feels great. Very excited," Adams described his feeling. "Now it's time to get to work."