Dear Mr. Mayor,

Only a year ago, it looked like an easy bet that Heather Fargo would return for a third term as Sacramento’s mayor. Wow, a lot can happen in a year! In retrospect, Fargo called her year of campaigning against you “interesting … and bizarre.” OK, whatever. We wish Fargo the best in getting on with her life, finding new ways to contribute to the common good.

Meanwhile, Kevin, you are mayor-elect. Congratulations! Though we at SN&R didn’t endorse you for the job, we accept your overwhelming victory. We’re ready to enter your tenure as mayor with an open mind and have a desire to see you succeed. We know you plan to use your well of energy and cool celebrity connections to aid your efforts; we have no doubt that these could help you achieve some of your goals.

Still, it’s going to be tough. The city is in dire financial straits, and you’re going to be tested straight out of the gates with a budget gap that could exceed $140 million over the next four years. The gap, especially in the context of a global recession, is going to make it difficult for you to accomplish your priorities, especially the one about increasing funding for police and firefighters.

You’ll be facing a steep learning curve, both as civic leader and government administrator. Our advice on this score is simple: Stay independent of the unions and developers. Surround yourself with smart, committed people—not sycophants who’ll only tell you what you want to hear. Don’t take the praise too seriously and you won’t have to take the criticism too hard, either. Stay centered. Be humble. Love your city.

We’re looking forward to what comes next.