Councilman Luis Ayala replaced Gary Yamauchi as mayor of Alhambra on Monday, pledging to create new jobs.
"Every mayor comes up here and lays out what they'd like to do — we're going to focus on job creation in Alhambra," Ayala, who is also running for State Assembly, said. "How do you create jobs? Well, there are block grants money that would see an estimated 1,000 jobs created. I'd always like to see more in the city."
The City Council is a part-time job in Alhambra as is the mayor which is a rotating position, with each member assuming the position once in a four-year term. Ayala, who is the director of government affairs for the Los Angeles County Medical Association, was first elected to office in 2006 and served as mayor of Alhambra in 2007-2008. For this term as mayor, he said that he would emphasize Main Street’s development as a generator of jobs.
"Those jobs may be temporary, but they're very important," City Manager Julio Fuentes said of the construction jobs.
For the past 10 months, Councilman Gary Yamauchi was mayor. During his term in office he accomplished most of his stated goals such as holding a town hall meeting, a cupcake competition, and an environmental fair. One of his goals that was not achieved was to bring back the Summer Jubilee. He said at Monday's meeting, "Nobody really knows what to do when they become mayor — no one hands you a book that tells you how to be the mayor of a city."
Councilwoman Barbara Messina replaced Ayala as vice mayor. “I can’t remember how many times this has been for me,” Messina told the audience. She was previosly mayor of Alhambra in 1989, 1993 and 1997, according to her bio on the City of Alhambra's website. Both Ayala and Messina were automatically re-elected in 2010, as there were no other candidates vying for their positions.
After Messina and Ayala were sworn into their new positions, the new mayor said, “Welcome to the City of Alhambra.” Applause came from the audience, along with the first two rows occupied by the council members’ family.
“It’s no secret – as mayor we have no additional powers,” said Ayala. “This is really a team effort. We work together for the benefit of Alhambra."