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Councilwoman-elect Susan Marie Weber: Fourth Time's the Charm

The newly elected councilwoman tells Palm Desert Patch she's excited to start her new role with the city, speaking highly of Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen, whom she edged out of a victory by less than 50 votes.

Now that the race for the Palm Desert City Council has been certified by the registrar's office, Susan Marie Weber can breathe a sigh of relief.

The councilwoman-elect managed to pull off a victory in her fourth try for a seat on the council, winning one of three open positions by 45 votes over incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen, according to finalized election results.

The politician says she was hesitant to celebrate until after Nov. 26, when the vote tally was approved by the Riverside County Registrar.

"I didn’t know until the registrar certified it," she told Patch Tuesday night.  "The votes went up and down, up and down..."

Now, after almost nine years of going to nearly every single council meeting and sitting in the audience, she's eagerly anticipating taking her seat on the dais, at the Dec. 13 meeting, at 3 p.m.

"I’m clearly focused on doing whatever we can to help our businesses," she said of her primary goals, adding that she especially hopes to help out those businesses who may have struggled in the past to resolve any issues they may have with the city. 

Weber says she anticipates an easy transition into councilwoman, since she's worked with many of the people on the Palm Desert Audit, Investment & Finance Committee.

"I think we’re all on the same page that we want more businesses," she said.

As for the fact that her win ousted appointed incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen, Weber says both she and he did not see this as a race against each other, but rather a race for an open seat.

"He’s just an exemplary council member," Weber raved about Kroonen.  "I have great respect for him... He’s extraordinarily gracious, and I’m very grateful."

She said Kroonen has been very helpful in getting her acquainted and transitioned into office.

Mayor Bob Spiegel says he's happy to welcome Weber to the council team.

"Susan Marie is a nice lady and I’m glad to have her on the council," Spiegel told Palm Desert Patch in a telephone interview.

"I’m sorry to lose Bill Kroonen because he's a good friend," he continued.  "But I’m happy with the results because that’s what they are:”

Fellow candidate Aurora Wilson said she, too, was happy with the results, garnering just 315 fewer votes than Weber.  She said Weber's story inspires her to possibly run again herself. 

"When you look at someone like Weber who persevered through four tries, it gives the rest of us hope," she said, adding "don’t count me out [of running again], particularly when you look at Susan Marie; it just shows what happens when you persevere.”

Councilman-elect Van Tanner and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen could not be reached for comment on this article.

 

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