Suzanne Hurt is reporter for the Sacramento Press.

No one can remember the last time a Sacramento City Council member broke into song.

But at Thursday’s packed council meeting, Councilwoman Lauren Hammond sang out just two words from the 1972 Bobby Vinton classic, “Sealed With a Kiss:”

“In September….”

Hammond sang out because she’d felt the tension rising in the chamber. The council faced a couple hundred impassioned Curtis Park residents. They were there to discuss, at length, the crucial environmental impact report regarding the neighborhood’s railyard development.

In September.

That appeared to be when the meeting would finally end.

“It made everybody stop and laugh,” Hammond said Monday. “Because of that, we could continue.”

But the singing didn’t stop there. Mayor Kevin Johnson called on volunteers to entertain the crowd while dozens of people who’d been waiting outside got to take seats in the chamber or upstairs in an overflow room.

A guy sitting near the front burst out with, “I got sunshine on a cloudy day” from “My Girl” by the Temptations. Curtis Park resident Nury Enciso took over the microphone at the podium to sing a Spanish song about Pinocchio.

Then the hearing got under way. After four complicated hours, Hammond closed the hearing by singing the chorus of the old, old spiritual, “Amen.”

The council voted unanimously to certify the report.