City Council Set to Name Shepherd Romey as New Mayor

Among other business, the City Council is expected to rotate to Gretchen Shepherd Romey as the city’s mayor at its December meeting, giving the current vice mayor her first crack at the role.
Shepherd Romey would succeed outgoing Mayor Steven Huang, who also served his first go-around at the position. Councilman Ken Ude is expected to be made vice mayor for 2020, positioning him for mayoral duties in 2021. Likewise, Councilwoman Susan Jakubowski would tentatively be vice mayor in 2021.
The title of mayor is largely ceremonial, although the titleholder does run City Council meetings and outlines the agenda for the panel for that year. Council members vote among themselves to designate mayor and vice mayor, though the city has long followed an informal pattern of going by the number of votes in determining the order.
In 2017, Shepherd Romey received the most votes for the election, positioning her for mayor first among Ude and Jakubowski. Huang and Councilman Steve Talt, who were both reelected to second terms last month, will be sworn in for their terms at the December meeting as well, and will serve through 2024. (They were elected to five-year terms so that the city would align with county elections on even-numbered years.)
Shepherd Romey, a lawyer who long ago shelved her practice to commit to local volunteerism, will likely also use the December meeting to announce her agenda for 2020 and outline her goals for the city next year.
In her time on the City Council, she has been a consistent advocate for measures that protect San Marino’s aesthetic, whether it is threading the needle to maintain planning and zoning goals amid new requirements from Sacramento or enhancing measures to preserve tree and foliage maintenance in town. She has remained active in civic organizations such as the San Marino Garden Club and in volunteering at nonprofit efforts such as the Huntington Library.
The city is expected to make big decisions regarding traffic issues in 2020 as well, with a broad traffic study on the horizon and the continuation of refinements for two L.A. Metro-funded projects that may result in some changes to Huntington Drive alongside school sites and also at the intersection with Atlantic Boulevard, Los Robles Avenue and Garfield Avenue. On the latter issue, Shepherd Romey was a leading voice in projecting skepticism to Metro’s intentions with the projects, soundly rejecting three other such proposals and eking out a compromise in exploring the two projects being considered, at least for now.
The city also is presently working on an economic development plan with the intent of incentivizing mom-and-pop-style shops to move into vacant storefronts on Huntington Drive and Mission Street, and the City Council will have to discuss and approve a number of items related to that.
This meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at City Hall. This will be the last meeting of 2019, as the city skips its customary morning meeting on the month’s last Friday in December.

Leave a Reply