Two Throw Hats in Ring for SM City Council

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With San Marino’s November election slowly but surely coming, two from the community have formally announced their candidacy for what will be three vacancies on the City Council.
Susan Jakubowski, vice chair of the city’s Planning Commission, and Calvin Lo, an alternate on the city’s Traffic Advisory Commission, have begun campaigning for the City Council election.
Jakubowski, a native of Niagara, New York, has lived in San Marino for more than 30 years and said her interest in a City Council seat began to blossom after she started regularly attending meetings.
“Call me weird: I’ve come to enjoy city politics,” she admitted. “I find city issues to be fascinating.”
She applied for and was named to the city’s Planning Commission in May 2015 and has served as vice chair since last year. She also volunteered for the advisory group to the City Council’s ad hoc committee that evaluated the city’s management structure and finances last year.
“That was probably one of the most changing events,” Jakubowski said. “This city is full of so many bright people who just volunteer selflessly. The two [committees] together made me say, ‘Hmm, I’d like more of this.’”
Jakubowski earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, and later her master’s degree in education and counseling from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. She moved to Southern California in 1977, where she owned Golden Threads, a wholesale and manufacturing business in China, South Korea and the Philippines, and later before spending 17 years working for a Los Angeles County department.
“Municipal government is different in the way it operates, so that’s one of the things I can feel I can bring to the table,” she said.
Jakubowski said she will campaign as a fiscally responsible leader who hopes to focus attention on the city’s infrastructure needs as well as the magnifying unfunded pension liability. She said she also wants to promote growing volunteerism to make the community safer, improve business areas and preserve historical neighborhoods, closely monitor increasing traffic and strengthen the relationship with San Marino Unified School District.
Lo, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 from Taiwan to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Cal State Los Angeles, has lived in San Marino for 10 years. He is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and also owns a real estate management company. When he first moved here, he said he volunteered with the schools (his two children both attend Huntington Middle School) and eventually joined the Chinese Club of San Marino (of which he was president in 2013, the city’s centennial). He also joined the San Marino Schools Foundation.
“I started to get in touch with a lot of people and organizations in town,” he said, adding he helped to connect with fellow immigrants from Taiwan or China as they moved into town. “That’s the spirit of our town and it’s a bridge for those people.”
Lo and his family also have volunteered for the American Red Cross, Methodist Hospital of Southern California and National Charity League. For the last two years, Lo has been a member of Rotary Club of San Marino and previously served on Crowell Public Library’s Board of Trustees.
Lo added that working as a Realtor means he travels to a variety of communities in the area and that only enhances his view of the city he’s called home for a decade.
“The more places I go, the more I realize that San Marino is a unique place,” he said. “To me, to be on the City Council is an extension of community service. I feel I’m equipped for the next level of community service for the town I love.”
Lo said he hopes to help preserve the city’s notable residential architecture to maintain its longtime personality. He said he also wants to foster more collaboration between the city and school district, improve the infrastructure for residents and modernize the technology and services that go into city government operations.
The three seats held by councilmen Mayor Dr. Richard Sun, Richard Ward and Dr. Allan Yung are up for election in November.

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