Fare thee well, Stevie B.

Bertagna’s presence on the City Council will be missed

The Chico City Council actually marked the end of two eras Tuesday night: disc golf in Upper Park and Steve Bertagna in City Hall. The senior council member (in terms of service, at least, not age) concluded his third and final term on a matter that spanned his 12-year tenure, disc golf.

Call us sentimental—we’re going to miss him.

True, we haven’t always seen eye to eye. The CN&R didn’t endorse him the past two times he ran for office, City Council in 2004 and Butte County Board of Supervisors in 2006. He’s shot from the lip and unnecessarily offended people. He’s a conservative, more prone to choose business interests over environmental … but not always, as he demonstrated by voting in favor of strong emission-reduction goals this fall. “I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid,” he said, “but I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Quintessential Stevie B.

Over the past two years, Bertagna made a concerted effort to reach across political lines. Cynics may say it’s because he was in a minority of two with Larry Wahl or biding his time till retirement. We don’t think he was that Machiavellian; he simply evolved the way most council members do, taking more moderate positions as time goes on, particularly during and after his time as mayor. Plus, the art of politics is compromise, and we see playing nice with others as a virtue.

Bertagna has devoted countless hours to the city and its citizens, and he’s almost always kept his sense of humor. For that, he has our appreciation—and respect.