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Jerry Thorne. (Cindi Christie/Staff File)

PLEASANTON -- Just more than 48 hours after being elected the next mayor of Pleasanton, Jerry Thorne found himself enjoying a peanut butter and jelly-covered English muffin and a cup of coffee, black, at Zorn's Restaurant.

Peering over his slim silver-rimmed glasses as he took a bite of his breakfast, he smiled apologetically.

"I hope you don't mind," he said. "It's the first time today I (was able) to get something to eat. I just got the mayor's schedule, and it is a lot busier than I thought."

The schedule, Thorne added, only books his calendar through the Christmas season. He has yet to see the schedule for the beginning of the new year.

But Thorne would not have it any other way.

As mayor-elect, Thorne does not find his new position to be work. Rather, he calls city politics a hobby that he thoroughly enjoys.

On Nov. 6, with all 47 precincts within the city reporting, Thorne won his months-long campaign for mayor with roughly 54 percent of the votes. His opponent, councilmember Cheryl Cook-Kallio, garnered 45 percent of the vote.

Thorne called his campaign the "hardest one" he has ever run, and he plans to immediately turn around and put all his effort from the campaign into his first mayoral term.

"The only thing slow about me is my accent," the Tennessee native joked. "We are hitting the ground running."

On his list of to-dos?

Looking at how to best proceed with the East Pleasanton Specific Plan Task Force's final report -- a topic Thorne said should be a hot subject of debate within the city.

He is also looking forward to cutting the ribbon on the Kottinger Place/Pleasanton Gardens project once it is completed -- a project that has been in the works for years.

But two main points, which he also heavily discussed during his campaign, will be at the forefront of Thorne's first term as mayor -- balancing the budget and moving forward with pension negotiations.

Creating a system performance measurement standard for city staff to help them be aware of what is expected with tackling the budget is something Thorne believes will greatly help accomplish establishing a more even revenue/expenditure ratio.

Keeping residents informed about what is going on throughout the budget balancing and pension negotiation processes will also be crucial, Thorne added.

"Right now, 78 percent of the city's total revenue goes to wages, salaries and benefits," he said. "We have to sit down and look at what is suffering and find contingency plans if things do not recover at the state or federal level. We have to find those trigger points and ask 'What if this happens?' and 'What can we do at that point?' "

And while Thorne will spearhead a council that welcomes two new members and will soon look for a third to fill his vacated seat, Thorne said he is looking forward to working with Cook-Kallio and new members Jerry Pentin and Karla Brown.

"We have a very mature council," he said. "They are true statesmen and they are true representatives of their city."

Thorne officially takes over as mayor Dec. 4. He is replacing outgoing Mayor Jennifer Hosterman.

Contact Katie Nelson at 925-847-2164 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.

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