LocationAlhambra , CA United States
The city of Alhambra said farewell to three outgoing City Council members on Monday, Nov. 26.
Stephen Sham, Barbara Messina and Luis Ayala are retiring from their positions after serving on the City Council for 12 years, as dictated by term limits.
Political leaders like U.S. Congressperson Judy Chu, California Assemblymember Ed Chau and council members from neighboring cities like Monterey Park and Rosemead came to pay their respects.
Chu recognized Sham as an important part of Alhambra’s business community, as well as the milestone he achieved of becoming the city’s first Asian mayor in 2006.
“Stephen decided that he had to make his mark on this city and started with the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce,” she said. “He earned the reputation of being such a hard worker and an advocate for the city.”
She praised Vice Mayor Ayala for his achievements after growing up as the son of migrant farmworkers.
“I truly appreciate your advocacy in healthcare, especially your constant communication with me on medical issues as a representative of the L.A. County Medical Association, and now I get to continue to work with you, because you’re the government rep for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” Chu said.
Chu praised Councilmember Barbara Messina’s 32 years of service, having first been elected to the Alhambra City Council in 1986 and later serving for eight years on the Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education.
“I can tell you from personal experience, whether I was on the assembly or the Board of Equalization or in Congress, she never failed to pull me aside to deal with the issue at hand, whether it was stormwater, redevelopment and of course, the 710 freeway,” she said.
A new class of Alhambra City Council members will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 10 at Alhambra City Hall. Katherine Lee, Ross Maza and Adele Andrade-Stadler were elected to those three open City Council seats in early November.