La Cañada Flintridge City Council members played musical chairs, bestowed gifts and celebrated their city at Tuesday’s meeting.
After Michael Davitt and Dave Spence were sworn in for their seventh and second terms, respectively, outgoing mayor Jonathan Curtis handed over the gavel to Davitt, who was elected by fellow council members to serve as the city’s mayor for the second time. Terry Walker was tabbed by her colleagues as the city’s mayor pro-tem.
“Somebody once told me if you follow someone in a job, you always want to follow someone who didn’t do a good job,” Davitt said. “But I don’t have that luxury because Jon was an excellent mayor.”
Curtis, who with Spence garnered the necessary support in March’s election to maintain their council seats, on Tuesday was lauded by representatives of a variety of organizations, including the city’s staff.
Per custom, City Manager Mark Alexander offered the outgoing mayor some thoughtful souvenirs, including the Fiesta Days parade banner commemorating the city’s 40th anniversary.
“We’ll never use it again, so you can have it,” joked Alexander, who also delivered a bobblehead in Curtis’ likeness as well as a personalized trail post sign in honor of Curtis’ healthy lifestyle advocacy.
In addition to celebrating its ruby anniversary, in the past year on Mayor Curtis’ watch, LCF completed the purchase of the former Sport Chalet headquarters building to be used as a new City Hall. Curtis mentioned the acquisition as first among the highlights of the past 12 months, saying it will “better serve the citizens.”
He said he also is pleased by efforts to improve the city’s communication with its residents, via its website, its newsletter and, by some measure, social media: “The city actually has become good at social media,” Curtis said. “Or, at least, it’s headed in that particular direction.”
There was also progress, he said, involving improved electrical reliability and in working to find alternatives to the 710 Freeway Tunnel proposal.
“You did a great job as mayor,” first-term councilman Leonard Pieroni said. “You helped me become a better council member, directly with suggestions on phone calls and in texts, and also by example. I know the time constraints of having a day job, and I’m amazed at how you’re able to balance the responsibilities of a day job with being mayor.”
Davitt said he’s more comfortable entering his second stint as mayor, following his first in 2014.
“It’s not old hat, but I’m definitely not as nervous as I was,” said Davitt, a corporate real estate professional and local business owner who grew up in LCF. “I’m looking forward to it; there’s a lot of things we need to tackle, some stuff we’ve got to get done, and we will.”