This is the poem read at Monday’s La Verne City Council meeting by its author, La Verne’s official poet laureate (!), Cathy Henley-Erickson, in honor of retiring Mayor Jon Blickenstaff:

In his family tradition of public service
The shadow is long, cast by this man:
The green hills, protected now, welcome us all
The calm workplace supports and challenges
those who labor here.

Jon is more than numbers:
27 years as mayor
35 years in education
1934 and 1940 woodies

Jon is more than adjectives:

Jon is more than accomplishments:
Gold Line Construction Authority
Casa Colina
Tri-City Mental Health

What Jon is now and will be next
depends upon where he turns, and what he chooses.

When the richness of life comes from giving,
from spending time
as if the bank account of moments
always grew,
interest compounded on interest,

Then, in the long line of life,
though any one of us makes only a smallish dent
in the pile of work that needs doing,
a purpose for life continues,
and we are secure.

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  • J

    For those cities that don’t have a poet laureate, see what they’re missing?

    Actually, Mayor Blickenstaff deserves every bit of the tributes he is receiving. You could not find another mayor with more integrity, ethics or passion.

    [With most of our electeds seemingly in it just so to build a resume and climb to higher office, you have to hand it to Blickenstaff for having no ambition greater than serving his hometown. — DA]

  • Linda Biscardi

    Jon Blickenstaff is what is known as a “class act”…you don’t find many of them in politics at any level.