CERRITOS – On March 19, the Cerritos City Council held the annual reorganization meeting and mayoral transition, which signified the end of a councilmember’s one-year term as City Mayor and ushered in the beginning of another councilmember’s stint as the city’s chief executive.
In Cerritos, the residents elect five city councilmembers to four-year terms. Then, the councilmembers vote among themselves, who would assume office as City Mayor for one calendar year.
At the end of that year, a reorganization meeting and mayoral transition is held to determine which councilmember shall become the next mayor.
Outgoing Mayor Bruce W. Barrows presided over the meeting on Wednesday night, where all five city councilmembers were present: Barrows, Joseph Cho, Carol Chen, George Ray, and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Pulido.
Barrows nominated Pulido to succeed him as City Mayor.
“As a lifelong Cerritos resident, Mark has worked diligently and responsibly for our city,” Barrows said.
“His two terms on the ABC School Board and his tenure on the city council has prepared him well. This coming year will bring exciting new opportunities and new developments, as well as serious challenges and threats,” Barrows said.
“As Mayor, I believe Mark Pulido will do an excellent job in continuing to work in a positive, [collaborative] manner on behalf of the city council, and this city. And it is my pleasure to nominate Mark Pulido to the Office of Mayor, and the Chair of the Successor Agency,” he added.
Councilmember Cho seconded Barrows’ nomination of Pulido. As no other nomination was made for the position, Pulido was selected by unanimous acclamation as the new Cerritos City Mayor.
“My hope is simple,” Pulido said after he transitioned into his new post. “That I may use all of my God-given talents and work tirelessly to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents by listening, hearing and acting in a thoughtful, responsive manner.”
Mayor Pulido also said that he hopes to provide responsible, ethical leadership that is inclusive and compassionate.
For Pulido, he said that he comes full circle in assuming the position of city mayor.
He recalled as a 6th grader in Cerritos, he participated in a walking tour of the first solar-heated city hall in America — the Cerritos City Hall.
“Walking through those doors, each one of us in the 6th grade class had a chance to sit in each of these [councilmembers’] chairs — just for a few seconds — but I had no idea then that I’d be here now,” Pulido said.
“It’s just a little sentimental for me,” he added “To be a father in this community, and to be able to raise my kids where my parents raised me, I feel very blessed.”
Mayor Pulido then proceeded to nominate Councilmember Chen to become the next Mayor Pro Tem. With no other nomination or opposition being made, Chen was unanimously acclaimed by the city council as the new Mayor Pro Tem.
Chen said that she is “delighted” for the “privilege” to serve the city in her new capacity as Mayor Pro Tem.
After the reorganization meeting at the city council chambers, a reception was held in honor of the new Mayor at the Sierra Room of the Cerritos City Performing Arts Center.
Friends, family, and city hall colleagues joined Pulido, his wife Gloria, and their two lovely children in the momentous occasion.
Speaking to Asian Journal at the reception, Pulido said that he’s “humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to serve as Mayor.
“When one runs for public office, we do it to serve the people. So, I’m just honored to be a member of the city council. And being selected as Mayor for this coming year, this is icing on the cake,” Pulido said.
The first thing that Pulido intends to do as City Mayor is to sit down with the Cerritos City Manager and be fully briefed on the work that needs to be done.
“I’m looking forward to keeping the fiscal health sound, and to continue to work with our local business community to further strengthen our local economy so that our city finances are strengthen as we continue to emerge from this recession,” Pulido said.
He also looks forward to reaching out to residents and taking time to listen to concerns, so that he can take appropriate and effective action on any of their issues.
In a year from now, when his time as Mayor officially comes to a close, Pulido said that he hopes for people to remember him as a leader who worked very hard, listened to people, was responsive to their concerns, and was inclusive in his leadership style in moving Cerritos forward.
The first Cerritos Mayor of Filipino descent, Pulido said that he “stands of the shoulders of community giants,” — Filipinos who ran for elected public office in the past, to open up opportunities for him to become an elected public official, and who paved the way for him to get to where he is right now.
“I’m deeply honored to be the first mayor of Cerritos of Filipino-American ancestry,” Pulido said.
“Beyond Cerritos, I hope I can serve as a role model, and hopefully an inspiration to younger Filipino-Americans, to [encourage them] to consider and pursue public service as a lifelong calling. Because it has been for me,” he said.
According to data from the 2010 US Census, 14.6 percent (about 7,155) of the population in the City of Cerritos are of Filipino descent, says www.cerritos.us.
(LA Weekend March 22-25, 2014 Sec A pg.1)