The successor to former Temple City councilman Dave Capra is Cynthia Sternquist.
Sternquist, a member of the Planning commission, was one of four candidates vying to finish Capra’s remaining term on the City Council.
The other candidates were Guy de Marco, Carl Blum and Dan Arrighi.
All four individuals were interviewed on Thursday, June 11, 2009 before the City Council and residents sitting in the audience.
“I believe that community service…is an essential part to having a safe community,” Sternquist said.
Sternquist noted that if selected, she would bring a different insight due to her background as a teacher. She promised she would work with the local School Board.
When asked by councilman Tom Chavez what she thought the role of a city councilmember was, she stated, “I view the role of the city councilperson as a voice for the people.”
“My decision will be based on facts, findings,” she answered in response to the question of how she would respond in a situation that pitted her against a group of vocal citizens versus the general welfare of the city.
Sternquist was nominated by councilmen Fernando Vizcarra and Vincent Yu.
After she spoke, former Planning commissioner Carl Blum spoke. Blum was nominated by both councilmen Chavez and Yu.
“The citizens are looking for fresh faces here at City Hall,” stated de Marco during his speech before the City Council. Guy de Marco was nominated by councilman Chavez.
Former mayor Dan Arrighi noted that he “had a sense of volunteerism” and would love to be part of the City Council again.
Arrighi was first elected in 2003, but was defeated for re-election to current councilman Vizcarra in 2007. Because both men had received the same number of votes, a coin-toss ultimately declared the winner.
Arrighi stated he would “be more assertive” and more independent if chosen. He currently serves as a commissioner on the Parks and Recreation commission.
Councilwoman Judy Wong, who was indicted on charges of bribery the previous day, June 10, nominated Arrighi.
“I would encourage you to have some discussion” commented interim city attorney Eric Vail. Vail recently succeeded Charles R. Martin, former city manager and city attorney.
“Everyone is strong. Everyone brings something to the table,” said Vizcarra.
Agreeing with Vizcarra, Yu said, “It’s a tough decision.”
“My purpose was to give us some alternatives,” said Chavez, who nominated dark-horse candidate Guy de Marco. “Having no political experience may be a plus.”
Chavez then made a motion to nominate de Marco, but no other councilperson supported his motion. De Marco’s nomination died for a lack of a second.
“At this point, the city is deeply hurt,” commented Yu. “I think the city deserves better.”
“Right now she is the best candidate,” Vizcarra noted, referring to Sternquist. “She brings the strengths we badly need.”
“I truly believe in [Arrighi],” Wong said, expressing a desire to formally nominate Arrighi.
Realizing her nominee would not make it to the next round, Wong joined Vizcarra and Yu in voting for Sternquist as the next city councilperson.
The motion to appoint Cynthia Sternquist to the City Council passed, 3-1. Councilman Tom Chavez cast the dissenting vote.
Sternquist has served on both the city’s commissions, Planning and Parks and Recreation. She ran unsuccessfully for the City Council, with Vizcarra, in 2007.
Her term will expire on March 8, 2011.
She will be sworn in next Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
This article was written by Randy Shun. It will ONLY be published online on the Temple City Voice’s weblog.