Councilmember Barbara Messina was sworn in Monday as the new mayor of Alhambra. Councilmember Steven Placido was sworn in as vice-mayor. Alhambra has a rotating mayoral system in which a mayor serves for nine months, then steps down to let another councilmember take the role.
This is Messina’s sixth time serving as mayor of Alhambra.
Messina said Monday that she is optimistic for the city’s future. “I feel very good about the direction that Alhambra is going in. We have a great young generation coming up through the system in the city,” said Messina. Messina said that the city will continue its efforts to bring in new businesses. She also reiterated her desire of connecting the 710 freeway, a goal that she has been vocal about in the past.
The council chamber was filled with elected officials and the councilmembers’ kin. The officials in attendance included the Alhambra Unified School District's Superintendent Laura Tellez-Gagliano, Monterey Park Councilmember Teresa Real Sebastian, and San Gabriel Vice Mayor Chin Ho Liao. Officials from nearby cities voiced their support for Messina’s goal of connecting the 710. “I look forward to continuing on that 710 fight,“ said Sebastian. “I’m so glad that [Messina] is at the forefront reminding all of us that we have to stand together.”
At the meeting, outgoing mayor Luis Ayala reflected on his political beginnings and said that he was grateful to have served as mayor for a third time. “What I always remind myself is that we’re fortunate to be up here as city council,” said Ayala. “Today I’m grateful for being here when there are a lot of other countries around the world that don’t have a democracy.”
Two seats on the council will be up for election this upcoming November. The seats belong to the third and forth districts, which are currently served by Gary Yamauchi and Placido, respectively.