Councilman Gary Yamauchi was sworn in as mayor during the Alhambra City Council meeting on Monday, replacing Councilman Stephen Sham. Councilman Luis Ayala was sworn in as vice mayor, replacing Yamauchi. Council members rotate the positions every nine months.
City Council also shifted the members' city department responsibilities. Yamauchi will work with the department of public affairs while Ayala will work with the department of finance. Council members Barbara Messina, Steven Placido, and Sham will work with the departments of public works, public safety, and supplies, respectively.
Yamauchi is optimistic about his term as mayor. "We've got a terrific year planned," he said during the re-organization ceremony.
Ayala is also hopeful and said he plans to engage the community during his term as vice mayor. "My philosophy is continuing having an open door policy to all of you, in terms of input to how we can better ourselves and how we can improve our city in any way that we can," he said, adding that he looks forward to working with Yamauchi. "I look forward to serving side to side. He's going to be Batman and I'll be Robin."
Sham thanked residents for their support as he stepped down as mayor. He said he was most proud of the farmers market's new location, the new First Street parking structure, the new Alhambra Place development, and the city's balanced budget.
As City Council re-organizes its positions, it is also preparing for the November election. Council members met Aug. 20 and re-appointed Council members Luis Ayala and Barbara Messina as well as Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education Member Robert Gin. The three candidates ran unopposed.
Alhambra will still see one councilman on the ballot this November. Sham will face off against resident Eric Sunada to represent Alhambra's first district.
Weren't able to attend the meeting? You can watch it here. City Council usually meets every second and fourth Monday of the month on the second floor of City Hall: 111 S. First St., Alhambra, Calif., 91801. The next regular meeting will be on Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m.