It was a sad evening Monday night at the Sunnyside City Council workshop when City Manager Mark Gervasi announced he is retiring.
I say it was sad because I have witnessed the turnover at city hall and believed progress was indeed being made.
I don't hear about the turmoil I once did, even before being a reporter. Instead, I have heard about people working together to make city hall more efficient.
I have heard happier sentiments from those who deal with staff at city hall and the staff, too, seems to be under less stress in many cases.
There are still a few issues that arise because newly hired staff members are trying to ensure the books are cleaned up and the payroll issues are resolved, but the overall feeling is that the atmosphere is better.
All the positive sentiments have been shared since Gervasi came aboard and I believe he will be missed.
He was passionate about making sure Sunnyside is the best place it can be. He wanted to improve the downtown corridor, making it a thriving business community.
Gervasi, I believe, put his heart into what he felt was right for the community, saving the historic Safari sign from demolition and helping the chamber of commerce preserve other historic neon signs.
As for what is next for Sunnyside, it remains to be seen.
I can only hope the Sunnyside City Council is able to select the next city manager with as much wisdom and grace as was exercised with the selection of Gervasi.