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At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Joe Mosca ended his term as Mayor, and the Council then voted to make John Buchanan the new Mayor, nominated by Josh Moran and seconded by Nancy Walsh. Moran was then voted in as Mayor Pro Tem, nominated by Walsh and seconded by Mosca. Both votes were unanimous.
Prior to the reorganization, Mosca received proclamations thanking him for his service from Mark Harmsen, representing Congressman David Dreier, David Monroy, representing State Senator Bob Huff and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, and Rita Hadjimanoukian, representing LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. He did not receive the traditional plaque and gavel from the City, because they apparently are back ordered and were not received in time for the meeting.
Joe then spoke for a little over ten minutes, beginning and ending with thank yous: “I know there are folks that always say I thank too many people, but there are many people that need to be thanked, because there are many people that are responsible for the accomplishments that we had here as a City Council…” He thanked his family, his fellow Council members, singling out Buchanan for working closely with him and advising him over the last year, and noting that after several years on the Council, “he still gives it 100%, he’s very committed.” He thanked “a stellar City staff,” the City Attorney, and his fellow Sierra Madreans for their support in electing him to Council for two terms.
He spelled out some of the accomplishments of the Council during the past year, many of which have been ongoing since before his term, among them a balanced budget with significant reserves, joking with Buchanan that he should not feel pressure as the Council prepares to deliver a new two year budget, working out what he considers a “good compromise in terms of the water ordinance for raising water rates,” improvement of the SMPD and SMFD and their equipment, paving some roads, finishing the renovation of the Sierra Madre Room, making “significant moves forward” in the General Plan Update, passage of the Canyon Zone Ordinance, formation of the Green Committee, protecting funds from the state “and use it for quality projects right here in Sierra Madre,” passing a resolution allowing the co-location of A T and T cell equipment to improve cell reception in Sierra Madre, reaching out to people through social media.
He spoke briefly about some of the challenges facing the City, including the State’s budget problems, and the rising costs of energy and employee pensions. He then thanked people for the opportunity to serve as mayor.
After his election as Mayor, Buchanan also spoke for several minutes, noting that “There is but one reason anyone should seek and hold elected office…only one…to do good,” stating that to do good, we must and we will as a Council confront challenges we face head on.” He added that the public good is not always popular, but “as a Council we do need and we do value the thoughtful public opinion that we get from our residents that helped guide us and represent them the best way that we can, and we need and value the work and advice we get from the committees and the commissions that we have appointed to help do the business of this City.” He spoke about the need of the community to make hard choices on the budget in the coming months “to develop a sustainable path forward that puts this City on sound financial future (sic) not just for the next two years, but for many years to come.” He noted that in the recent past the Council has done much to enhance public safety, but added that we are a full service community and need to provide a sustainable bundle of community services that say much about who we are and what we value, including services for children and the aged, the business district, and the library which reflects “the historic broader commitment in this town to lifelong learning.” He closed by stating that he hopes the budget choices and the decisions the Council makes going forward will reflect the belief that Sierra Madre is “a full-service city with our own core, our own identity, and a distinct and special sense of community.”