The City of Sonoma Invites Nominations for the 2024 Honorary Alcalde

Posted on November 27, 2023

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Sonoma, CA – November 27, 2023 – The City of Sonoma (City) is excited to announce the commencement of the nomination process for the prestigious title of Honorary Alcalde for the year 2024. Nominations are open to the public, and the City encourages community members to put forth deserving candidates for this esteemed recognition.

Since 1975, the Sonoma City Council has annually selected an outstanding citizen, bestowing upon them the title of Honorary Alcalde. The tradition honors individuals or couples who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to the community through voluntary service, leadership in non-profit organizations, and impactful community projects.

Nominations for the 2024 Honorary Alcalde will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on January 12, 2024. The City encourages the submission of nominations through letters or emails to the City Manager. Email nominations to or mail them to:

City of Sonoma
Attn: David Guhin, City Manager
No. 1, The Plaza,
Sonoma CA 95476

To be considered, nominees must reside in the City of Sonoma or Sonoma Valley, may be either an individual or a couple, and should have accomplished several of the following:

  • Participation in a broad spectrum of voluntary community service to Sonoma Valley.
  • Leadership role in at least one non-profit organization.
  • Spearheading at least one community-serving project without compensation.
  • Recognition for consistent behind-the-scenes good deeds.
  • Demonstrates a humble approach by not actively pursuing public praise or acknowledgment for their contributions; and/or
  • Adherence to a high standard of moral and ethical values.

The Alcalde tradition traces its roots to California’s pueblo system, where town councils, or ayuntamientos, were headed by mayors known as Alcaldes. These leaders played pivotal roles in local governance, addressing various issues from land disputes to criminal matters. Today, the Spanish word “Alcalde” literally means Mayor.

The selection process involves a Nomination Period and Outreach, with press releases sent to newspapers and promotion through various channels. The Nomination Protocols guide the submission of letters or emails to the City Manager and letters of recommendation for broad support. A Nominating Committee reviews nominations and selects three candidates for consideration, culminating in the Mayor’s final nomination and Council ratification.

The Honorary Alcalde, once appointed, undertakes various roles and responsibilities, including participation in events such as parades, ceremonies, and receptions.

Join us in celebrating the spirit of community service by nominating individuals or couples who embody the values of the City of Sonoma and continue this tradition of honoring those who make a significant impact on our community.

For questions or more information, please contact the City Clerk, Rebekah Barr via phone at (707) 933-2216 or email

Previous Alcaldes Include:

1976, August Pinelli
1977, Henri Maysonnave
1978, Jerry Casson
1979, Bob Lynch
1980, Dan Ruggles
1981, Adele & Paul Harrison
1982, Gail Fehrensen
1983, Chet Sharek
1984, Evelyn Berger
1985, Sandy & Alan Piotter
1986, Nell Lane
1987, Jim Metzger
1988, Helen Shainsky
1989, Jerry Tuller
1990, Loyce & Ernest Power
1991, Jo Baker
1992, Ligia (Li) Booker
1993, Jim Vanderbilt
1994, Nancy Parmelee
1995, George Watson
1996, Carolyn & Bob Stone
1997, L.C. “Pete” Peterson
1998, Peggy McAleese
1999, Helen Fernandez
2000, Howie Ehret
2001, Robert Cannard Sr.
2002, Mitch Mulas
2003, Ellie Baker
2004, Sue Holman & Susan Weeks
2005, June Sheppard
2006, Kathy & Al Mazza
2007, Phyllis Carter
2008, Sy Lenz
2009, Elizabeth Kemp
2010, Niels Chew
2011, Mary Evelyn Arnold
2012, Whitney Evans
2013, Judy & Les Vadasz
2014, Suzanne Brangham
2015, Marcie Waldron
2016, Patrick Garcia
2017, Pat & Ted Eliot
2018, Marcelo Defreitas
2019, Karen Collins
2020 & 2021, Kimberly & Simon Blattner
2022, Steve Page
2023, William “Bill” Lynch

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