Team building exercise Friday credited for new-found unity
By Terry Miller
The irony was not lost Tuesday night. During one of the most heated and contentious times in Arcadia’s history, the council chambers air-conditioning system malfunctioned causing residents to perspire just a little longer to see who the next mayor might be.
City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto quipped that the broken air-conditioning, in point of fact, was not on the agenda and assured the public that maintenance workers were on the roof attempting to cool off the already heated chambers early Tuesday evening.
Despite the uncomfortable heat, Arcadia council members unanimously voted to select Sho Tay as Mayor of Arcadia after one of the most difficult and contentious elections in Arcadia’s history.
A ‘Team Building’ meeting on June 1 is credited for giving Arcadia City Council members an opportunity to talk candidly with one another and establish a long-range plan for moving the City forward and past the last divisive election and ultimately a unified Arcadia. Under the tutelage of City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, the exercise was indeed a coalescing moment in an otherwise turbulent time in City history.
Former Mayor Amundson took the unusual step, after consulting with the City Attorney, to request council members announce their vote for the new mayor prior to public comment, presumably to help limit the number of negative and reactionary comments that Council witnessed in April.
During the public comment period, Arcadia residents voiced some concerns but ultimately the majority was in support of Sho Tay’s appointment as the new mayor and repeatedly led the mantra that the City will soon be unified.
Sho Tay did, in fact, admit he made some mistakes during the last election and that was sufficient for Council Members April Verlato and Tom Beck to change their original vote to “yes” for Sho Tay as the new mayor.
During his remarks, Mayor Tay invited everyone to participate in more Arcadia Chinese Association activities and learn more about each other’s cultures. The Mayor quipped that former Mayor Amundson tried and liked Moon Cake, a traditional Taiwanese ROC dessert.
With the unanimous vote for Sho Tay, a new era has commenced on Council and the majority of those inside the Council Chambers felt they witnessed history.
In a way, the whole council meeting was akin to a love-fest; which many credited to former Mayor Amundson’s initial call for a 45-day cooling off period in April.
Roger Chandler admitted he was primarily opposed to Amundson’s request but realized Tuesday just how important that ‘cooling off’ time was for the community at large.
The next council meeting will be June 19.