By Galen Patterson
Local businessman Sho Tay has been appointed Mayor pro Temp. of Arcadia. The decision comes from City Council following a special City Council meeting on Jan. 25, where they met and deliberated upon granting the office to already Mayor Pro Temp. Tay.
City Council chose to appoint Tay rather than allow for a conventional election this April, because Tay was running unopposed in Arcadia’s 3rd district. Only one other person, Mr. Paul Van Fleet, from the 3rd district drew paperwork to run against Tay, but Van Fleet did not submit the papers and therefor was not considered a candidate.
However, Van Fleet who has run for City Council in Arcadia previously, did submit an email to councilmembers, which was read aloud during the deliberation process. The email was a plea to City Council not to simply appoint Tay, but rather continue with the election in hope that a write-in candidate may appear and thereby give Mayor Pro Temp. Tay, the incumbent candidate, competition for the office and allow the people to elect the candidate of their choosing.
All council members agreed with Van Fleet’s emailed plea, but with no known opposing candidates or future write-in candidates, combined with the projected savings of around $15,000 from not campaigning, a fact presented by City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, and the urgency placed on the decision because the final day to make the decision was Jan. 25, City Council granted Tay another term in office. “This is something I do not take lightly,” said Mayor Peter Amundson, “I feel everyone has a right to vote.”
Nevertheless, Councilman Roger Chandler moved to adopt the resolution, which was seconded by Councilwoman April Verlato and agreed upon by Mayor Amundson. Councilman Tom Beck was excused from his absence at the meeting.
Tay, who was not at the meeting, but instead out of state, was on the phone, which had been connected to the speaker system in the council chambers and was able to hear the deliberation and deliver a small speech of gratitude once officially appointed to serve another term. “I appreciate that everyone supported me on this,” said Mayor Pro Temp. Tay.
Tay, a native of Taiwan, former Alhambra reserve policeman, and resident businessman of Arcadia has been on City council since 2014, when he was elected by the city and nominated as Mayor Pro Temp. by then-new Mayor Amundson.
Tay’s new term is set for four years and seven months, because of the new election cycle already adopted and waiting to be introduced in 2020. Although Tay’s second term will not begin until the official elections in April are over, he has officially been given the office. Meanwhile, several other members of City Council are busying themselves with their campaigns.
The 2018 elections are the first district elections for Arcadia City Council, meaning that the city has been divided into five separate areas and each member of City Council must reside within the district they represent and are voted on by the residents within that district. Historically, Arcadia has practiced city-wide elections without districts.