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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Lots of laughs at Chavez retirement party
Monday, July 13, 2015 by Jo Clifton
Former Mayor Lee Leffingwell did not have a prepared proclamation to read at Thursday night’s party for former City Council gatekeeper and Proclamation Coordinator Gail Chavez, but he did not have any trouble making one up on the spot. He said, “Whereas Gail Chavez has served the city of Austin well and truly for – what is it now, 15 years?” Chavez said nearly 16 years. Leffingwell continued, “And whereas Gail has put the best possible face on the Austin City Council and the mayor’s office for those who come to visit, and whereas that is not an easy task (big laugh line), and whereas we know that she will enjoy her retirement, and we wish her the very best, now therefore, as former mayor of the city of Austin with the power vested in me, which is virtually nothing (more laughter), I hereby declare it Gail Chavez Day in the city of Austin, Texas.” Chavez said she was enjoying her retirement and that Leffingwell’s “was our finest administration.” Former Council Member Mike Martinez got some laughs, too, when he said, “I was honored to work with Gail for eight years of the 16. Gail wasn’t just the receptionist, Gail wasn’t just the person who clocked people in, she was the gatekeeper. And she was the fierce defender of the Council and staff. And no one knows that more than I do. When the folks would come in and say, ‘I’m just going to go to the bathroom,’ Gail knew (laugh line). And I saw her on multiple occasions say, ‘That bathroom’s not for you. You might want to try one downstairs,’ because she knew they were headed down the hall.” All true, folks. For many, it’s the end of an era.
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