Bruner, who served on City Council until 2019 before taking a year off, defeated outgoing Council Member Phil Ellett for mayor in the Nov. 3 election, receiving 58.38% of the votes cast.
“These are big shoes to fill, and I'm very much looking forward to working with the new council, with the existing council and with the citizens going forward,” Bruner said at the Nov. 17 meeting. “I appreciate your views and your feedback, letting us know when we get things right, but more importantly, letting us know when we can improve things.”
Bruner was sworn in with two first-time council members, Alfonso Carmona and Robert Johnson. The two defeated Cardona, who did not file to run for re-election but did enter the council race.
“I'm incredibly nervous, but I do my best work when I'm nervous and excited, and I'm really excited to get to work tomorrow,” Johnson said.
Already a familiar voice during public comment at City Council meetings, Carmona was voted to the dais after years of service on various volunteer boards and city committees.
“To all citizens of Sunset Valley, thank you. I appreciate your support,” he said. “Now, as an elected member of the City Council, we need to work together. I need your opinions, ideas, and suggestions to improve our quality of life. We can do that together.”
It was the final council meeting for Cardona, Ellett and Melissa Gonzales, who did not run for re-election. Although no longer serving in an official capacity, Cardona said she would continue to serve the community and was proud of what the city had been able to accomplish during her tenure.
“We still have a lot to do, but I think we're in a much better position to hand off to a new mayor,” she said. “I think that the best legacy that I could give to a new mayor is to leave the city better than I found it. From 2009 to now meetings have become more sane, more controlled, more timely. We have evolved into a more professional organization with more transparency, less folklore ruling over the city, and the largest change that I've seen is that there's a greater allowance now of opinions from all streets [in the city].”