Councilwoman Merrilee Boyack gave a tearful goodbye to the Poway City Council on Tuesday, pledging to remain active in the community after eight years at City Hall.
"We have a city that has such great heart," Boyack said. "The people of Poway are just extraordinarily loving and giving."
The outgoing two-term council woman, who chose not to run for a third term, began crying as she thanked the "outstanding" city staff for quickly responding to requests. Boyack said she was happy to see the city embrace a greater culture of open communication during her time on the council, as well as develop an emergency preparedness system that other cities look to as an example.
Councilman Jim Cunningham, who was sworn into his second-term Tuesday along with new Councilman Steve Vaus, thanked Boyack for "shepherding" him through his early days on the council.
Councilman Dave Grosch said he wished he could clone Boyack because of her attention to concerns that might escape others and her "dedicated service to the community."
"She's been volunteering forever," Grosch said.
The volunteering won't stop now that's she leaving the council, Boyack said. The Poway Community Leadership Institute, Poway Spirit Day and Poway Neighborhood Emergency Corps will still have her service, she said.
"My heart is with this community," Boyack said. "That will not change."