First published in the July 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The city of La Cañada Flintridge held its annual changeover meeting Tuesday, and it was a busy evening with the City Council nominating Keith Eich as mayor, swearing in two council members and honoring longtime council member for his years of service.
In her final meeting as mayor, Terry Walker passed the gavel to Eich, who was on the Public Works and Traffic Commission prior to being elected as a council member in 2020, and the council later nominated Rick Gunter to serve as mayor pro tem.
“I hope that I can do as good of a job as Mayor Walker in continuing a unified community-first focus for our council — not on federal politics in D.C., not on the ideologies of Sacramento, but on keeping and maintaining what we have here in La Cañada Flintridge,” said Eich, who served as mayor pro tem the past year. “This is our first and foremost charge.”
Eich laid out his priorities as mayor: Leading the city as it updates the housing element and zoning, working on expanding open spaces in LCF that include facilities, parks and trails, reevaluating the infrastructure and making sure it is reliable and stable, and, finally, communication with stakeholders.
“We have so many changes ahead of us, and the outcome of those changes are not solely determined by having quality solutions, but also rely heavily on the acceptance of that change,” Eich said. “Communication starts with us. Communication, especially as we return back to normal life after COVID, it’ll help us bring us all back together.”
The other order of business for the city was the certification of the June 7 election results and swearing in newly elected Councilman Kim Bowman and incumbent Councilman Mike Davitt.
At the request of Councilman Jonathan Curtis, City Manager Mark Alexander presented the official results and voting turnout in LCF as reported by Los Angeles County. A total of 7,066 ballots from the city were counted, and 87% of them were either mailed or submitted via ballot drop box.
Bowman, who recited the oath to office by memory, won the race with 3,159 votes and Davitt was second with 3,158.
“Thank you to all of you who made this possible, and I look forward to the work we’re going to do together. I really do,” Bowman said. “I know that all the stuff that’s been leading to this is just the beginning. This is where the real work is. You’ve heard me say over and over that your government should be transparent, it should be representative. I will strive every day to be those things for you.”
The council, city staff and representatives from offices of elected officials took the time to recognize Curtis, who was previously on the Planning Commission and did not seek reelection after serving nine years on the City Council, for his service to LCF the past 15 years.
“I’ve very much enjoyed working with you and we’re going to miss you,” Alexander said. “We appreciate all the support and leadership and guidance you’ve given us over 15 years of service with the city.”
Curtis, who was named LCF mayor in 2015, said he was thankful for the gifts from colleagues and certificates presented by officials such as Supervisor Kathryn Barger and state Sen. Anthony Portantino. The longtime LCF resident commended his fellow council members and assured the community that they are in good hands.
“It has been an extremely positive experience and the more I put into it, frankly, the more rewarding it was, and the more I got out of it,” Curtis said. “So I will say for you here tonight: If you’ve got an issue, you’ve got a problem or a great idea, speak up. These people up here listen to you. These people up here like to hear from you.”