The Martinez City Council said goodbye to an old friend Wednesday night while they welcomed a new member to the family.
Councilwoman Janet Kennedy made an emotional farewell after 10 years of serving on the council.
Taking her place is Annamarie Farias, who was sworn in minutes after a series of tributes were delivered to Kennedy.
Also sworn in Wednesday night was Councilman Mark Ross for his fifth term as well as City Clerk Richard Hernandez and City Treasurer Carolyn Robinson.
All were selected by voters in the Nov. 6 election.
For Kennedy, it was the end of a long tenure on the council. Before that, she had served on the Planning Commission, Park and Recreation Commission and other governing bodies.
Kennedy thanked her supporters, her family and her fellow council members.
"We don't always get along and we don't always agree," she said, "but we always support each other."
Her four fellow council members took turns praising her.
Ross said Kennedy could be firm in her opinions, but she always listened to others.
"We rarely get to see someone as solid as a rock as you are," said Ross. "You're the most normal person I've ever met in public service."
Lara DeLaney was moved to tears as she described Kennedy as someone who commands respect and always serves the public.
"You will be sorely missed," said DeLaney. "You are a model of what an elected official should be."
"You've given a lot to this community," added Councilman Mike Menesini.
"You've added a whole new facet to the council," remarked Mayor Rob Schroder.
Kennedy also received commendations from the city, the county Board of Supervisors, the state Assembly and the state Senate.
Farias comes to the council after serving eight years on the Planning Commission. She is the first Latina woman elected to the council.
She thanked her supporters, friends and family and noted she has a tough act to follow.
"I have some big shoes to fill," said Farias. "You (Kennedy) are an inspiration."
Ross said he is excited to enter his fifth term because he feels Martinez is on the verge of a breakthrough.
"I feel we're ready to go to the next level," he said. "I'm excited and ready to go."