By Galen Patterson
The annual Mayor’s Breakfast of Arcadia was held on April 6 at the Arcadia Community Center. The event featured Mayor Peter Amundson with special keynote speaker former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.
This year was the first time Arcadia combined the Mayor’s Breakfast with the State of the City Address.
A buffet-style breakfast was served as Arcadia’s social elite mingled in the extravagantly decorated community center hall.
The theme of the event, selected by Mayor Amundson himself, was “Leaving a Legacy.” As explained by the Mayor, “leaving a legacy is contributing to society and contributing to the lives of others.”
The state of Arcadia is strong, says Amundson. The police department is developing new ways to fight crime more effectively and the city is the most business-friendly city of 2017, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.
Mayor Peter Amundson set out unify Arcadia in the beginning of his term. Halfway through it, the city was threatened with a lawsuit over their local election methods, which forced the city to divide into districts, literally carving borders of separation between Arcadians.
Mayor Amundson sees this as counter-productive to his goal, but he has not given up yet. “My goal hasn’t changed, my plan hasn’t changed, even when I’m just sitting on council I will still be working towards that,” Amundson told Arcadia Weekly after his speech.
When asked about a personal impact Mayor Amundson has left in Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Mac Nair’s mind, she paused for a moment, pensively mining the memories of countless interactions between herself and the Mayor before she spoke: “He had us think about how we leave a legacy.”
After the Mayor, former LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich took the stage and spoke to Arcadia about his legacy and how much one person could impact the lives of those around them.
Mayor Amundson presented Antonovich with a Ronald Reagan Stetson hat after the keynote speech as a token of appreciation and acknowledgment of how much the former President had impacted both of their lives.
On the beautifully-decorated tables of the community center, atop the silverware and china associated with fine dining, sat a small, blank journal as a gift for those in attendance. The gift serves as a tool for all who gathered on that day to be inspired to transcribe their own legacies.
When Mayor Amundson first took the stage at the event he prefaced his speech by explaining that his son and daughter-in-law checked into a hospital earlier that morning, on the verge of having a child which would become Mayor Amundson’s first grandchild.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: when one door closes another one opens. For Peter Amundson’s legacy, his year as mayor is another layer of time, sedimented at the bottom while another layer has already begun to form as he continues to play roles in the lives of others, and those yet to come.