Claremont mayor ready to lead second time around

Sam Pedroza was unanimously chosen as the new mayor of Claremont during the city council meeting on Tuesday, March 8.

The new mayor was sworn in by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and told the crowd assembled in the city council chamber that he would continue to carry on the city’s plans for the coming year.

“I look forward to continue to work with staff and continue to work with this council, and thank you very much for your faith, I hope, in me,” Mr. Pedroza said. “And I hope you give me a little patience, it’s going to be a little tough following [former mayor] Corey [Calaycay] here, but we know exactly what we’re working on and this is why we’re such a nice city—because we have a plan of action.”

This is Mr. Pedroza’s second tenure as mayor—he was first chosen as mayor in 2011-2012. Claremont does not directly elect a mayor; rather the city council chooses a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem each year.

Ms. Solis had kind words for Mr. Pedroza before swearing him in, regaling stories to the crowd about his time working for her campaign 20 years ago and his work within the San Gabriel Valley region.

“He’s a very ethical person, he’s very committed, shows initiative and he’s always willing to share and listen. And that’s a good sign of a politician, when you can sit back and listen,” Ms. Solis said. “You may not always have to agree, but you can agree to disagree in a manner that’s civil and respectful, and that’s what I remember most about him.”

Councilmember Larry Schroeder was also unanimously chosen as the new Mayor Pro Tempore.

Mr. Pedroza said he hopes to bring in other communities to work with Claremont.

“I’m a regional player,” he said. “The things that we are working on, I think we do better when we bring sources from outside and we’re able to maximize some of the things we’re doing locally.”

Mr. Pedroza mentioned the future Gold Line expansion into Claremont as a future project that would allow to Claremont to “have more say so in what’s actually going to happen” during his tenure as mayor.

Before Mr. Pedroza was chosen, city staff and residents lauded Mr. Calaycay for his mayoral tenure. He was given a plaque from the city, the same one from his previous tenure as mayor, but with one noticeable addition—his gavel. Mr. Calaycay also received a certification from the office of Assemblyman Chris Holden, a certificate from the officer of Rep. Judy Chu and a certificate from Dr. Eileen Aranda of Claremont Lincoln University.

“As the outgoing mayor, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for a great year serving as your mayor this year,” Mr. Calaycay said. “It is an honor just to have the privilege to serve on the city council in this great town and I thank the voters for that privilege.”

Mr. Calaycay noted that this is the first time in the city’s 106-year history that all presiding city council members have served at least one term as mayor.

“So as to amend an old saying, the mayor is dead, long live the mayor,” he said. “I wish my successor all the best in the next year, and my only concluding words in the spirit of the fact that we are here for a greater cause for the city of Claremont: go Claremont!”

Also during the meeting, the reorganized city council unanimously approved a staff reclassification eliminating one vacant Community Services Manager position and creating a new Deputy Director of Community Services position. The new position will work under the director of community services and oversee motor fleet, sanitation, infrastructure & facilities, landscape & village, and trees & sidewalks.

The change comes on the heels of the departure of Paul Cranmer, who previously held the community services manager position, according to City Manager Tony Ramos. The new position will alleviate some of the duties of the director of community services, allowing the director to focus on community engagement and involvement.

The next city council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 22.

Matthew Bramlett

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