Amundson retains Mayoral title until the delayed vote on June 5
By Galen Patterson
City Council delays Mayoral decision 45 days in light of pending investigations of nominee Sho Tay.
A crowd gathered around the entrance of the council chambers at Arcadia City Hall on the evening of April 24.
Tables had been set up to support the food and refreshments for Arcadians who had turned out to watch the council select a new Mayor.
People with signs and a massive banner supporting Mayor Pro Tempore Sho Tay for Mayor chanted and cheered for Tay until the time came for the meeting to convene.
The council chambers were filled within minutes, and a cacophony of conversations dominated the room until the lights dimmed and slowly the chatter ceased. People waited anxiously to see who would become the next Mayor of Arcadia.
Once the meeting was called to order, Mayor Peter Amundson was granted several awards, recognized by the community for his service to the city, and gave what many thought to be his final speech as Mayor this term. “It is an extreme honor to have been Mayor of my hometown,” said Amundson.
Amundson closed his speech with the urging of the council to unite together and make Arcadia a better place, despite the divisive campaigns of recent memory.
Councilman Tom Beck was contacted via telephone from South Africa for the rest of the meeting.
The council heard comments from 32 members of the public, during which the audience became outwardly emotional several times, to the point where it became disruptive. At first, people clapped and cheered when a speaker voiced their opinion on who should be the next Mayor. The council had warned the public to be respectful during this process, and eventually the audience was instructed to employ a cryptic hand gesture to express emotion during the comments.
The mood soon began to sour as many people felt the hand gestures weren’t enough and began to “hiss” loudly at people with opposing opinions. Several times and uproar was unleashed because of presented claims and ideas and people began to hurl insults at speakers for things like questioning how many people in the audience actually lived in the city, a valid point considering one real estate agent who spoke as a member of the public who does not live in Arcadia.
After 32 speakers, paced at 2 minutes each, the council moved onto the main event for the evening: the vote for Mayor.
At first, Mayor Amundson proposed an unorthodox 45-day delay to the vote, which was to serve as a “cooling off” period, because of the new FPPC investigations leveled at Mayor Pro Temp. Tay. The idea was initially shut down and the council decided to continue with the vote.
Two councilmembers were nominated for Mayor thereafter; Sho Tay and April Verlato. Both received two votes and in a shocking but reasonable twist, Mayor Amundson voted against both.
Amundson’s delay plan was again presented, and this time it passed.
The next vote for Mayor will be on June 5.