Marketing executive Tom Rouse was elected to the Sonoma City Council with the highest vote count among the five non-incumbent candidates. He will be sworn in on Dec. 1. While four years of policy and politics lie ahead, The Sun queried Rouse about campaigning for his first public office.
Sun: During your campaign, what did you learn about Sonoma and its citizens?
Tom Rouse: Sonoma is a city with a diverse makeup and equally diverse opinions.
Sun: What did you learn about yourself?
TR: I learned that one-minute sound bites are difficult for me. It’s tough to solve a complex problem in a minute or less.
Sun: What was the most gratifying moment?
TR: The gratifying moments were the countless times people came up to me and thanked me for putting myself out there. This happened far more than I would have expected.
Sun: Biggest surprise?
TR: Biggest surprise is just how political this small town (city) can be.
Sun: If you had to do it all over again, you’d…
TR: I would walk and talk to more people throughout the campaign. I knocked on a lot of doors, but next time I’d knock on more. There are many folks who feel they are not heard in our community, and the effort to connect with as many as possible makes for a better city council member. The good news is, I plan to talk to anyone who wants to over the next four years.