Fellow City Council members appointed Councilmember Tom Chavez to serve as Temple City’s mayor for the coming year during its March 17 meeting. Chavez accepted the gavel from outgoing Mayor Carl Blum.
“Public service is one of the highest honors, and I am proud to represent our wonderful city as mayor,” said Chavez, a six-year member of the council. “I look forward to working with my fellow councilmembers as we continue to make Temple City a great place to live.”
Blum reflected on the past year in a speech to the council.
“I’m proud to say that the council has, for the most part, accomplished the major tasks that it set out to do,” said Blum, who chose not to seek reelection. “I’m happy to have had the opportunity to serve with four intelligent, dedicated and hardworking colleagues.”
Blum also said that some of his proudest accomplishments were restoring faith in city government, initiating the Citizen’s Academy program and completing the city’s strategic plan.
Councilmember Fernando Vizcarra, who was termed out after two consecutive four-year terms, wished the new council well.
“I wish the new councilmembers much luck and hope that they continue to embrace and welcome our citizens,” said Vizcarra.
Vizcarra listed a few of his proudest accomplishments, including the establishment of the Walter Temple bust at Temple City Park and the weekly Farmer’s Market.
Councilmember Vincent Yu was named mayor pro tempore, with the duty of filling in as mayor at city functions if an absence occurs. Yu is currently serving his sixth year on the council.
Mayor Chavez will lead the council during a year of change in the city. Las Tunas Drive, one of the city’s main downtown areas, is set to have its revitalization plans completed in early 2016. Chavez said he looks forward to seeing how the improvements will boost the city’s businesses and nightlife.
“The revitalization of Las Tunas Drive will attract a lot of business and improve our quality of life,” Chavez said. “I’m really excited to see the final result.”
Incumbent councilmember Cynthia Sternquist was the top vote getter in the March 3 election and was reelected to another four-year term. A former educator, Sternquist is a five-year veteran of the council and previously served as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner.
The Council also welcomed two newly elected members, William Man and Nanette Fish, whose elections were certified at the meeting. Man is a civil engineer with the L.A. County Department of Public Works and previously served as chairman of the General Plan Advisory Committee. Fish previously served on the Parks and Recreation Commission and as director of the city’s annual Camellia Festival.
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