The Sonoma City Council will meet Monday night to select the 2014 alcalde, or alcaldessa, the honorary mayoral position that harkens back to Spanish times and was the traditional office of a municipal magistrate. Alcaldes doubled as judges, notary publics, recorders, escrow agents, chief law enforcers and all-around town leaders.
Sonoma alcaldes are chosen annually and, following Spanish tradition, each honoree is given a silver-headed cane they are expected to carry with them when conducting personal appearances and presiding at events. Alcaldes can be men or women, but female honorees are called alcaldessas.
Alcaldes are chosen by the mayor following nominations from the public. A nominating committee composed of the outgoing mayor, the current and immediate past alcaldes and the city manager, review the letters of nomination before passing them on to the mayor, along with their recommendations for the top candidates.
This year’s nominees are Suzanne Brangham, Harriet Derwingson, Gary Edwards, Pam Gibson, Carole and Bob Nicholas, Wayne Schake, Jackie Stubbs and Marcie Waldron.
Criteria for alcalde selection include: