Councilmember Stripped of Her Duties as Youth Committee Advisor

Chavez to serve in place of Wong.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published May 28, 2010 (ONLINE ONLY)

Using his mayoral powers, Temple City Mayor Fernando Vizcarra on Tuesday removed a former mayor from her position as the liaison to a newly created youth committee.

The mayor removed Councilwoman Judy Wong, an ally, and instead appointed Councilman Tom Chavez, a former Parks and Recreation commissioner, to the role at the Dec. 1, 2009 city council meeting.

“Using mayoral imperative, we’ll appoint Councilmember Chavez to the first meeting,” he said.

Wong had requested the City Council reconsider the appointment in light of negative publicity surrounding the move.

“They did not appoint me, I volunteered,” Wong said, referring to her council colleagues.

“If any [member] of the City Council would like to be the first one, you’re always welcome,” Wong stated. “I can be the last, or if you wish not to have me in there, that’s okay too.”

The former mayor was appointed as liaison on November 17.

She, along with former mayor Cathe Wilson, is facing criminal charges of solicitation of bribery. Both Wong and Wilson have been accused of asking for bribes in exchange for pledging their support for the Piazza at Temple City project.

Because Wong is still standing trial, a media firestorm emerged shortly after the councilmember was appointed to her role. She is expected to appear in court again on January 13.

As the youth committee liaison, Wong would have worked with the newly established youth committee. The committee will be filled with thirteen Temple City residents, ranging from 12 to 18 years of age.

Instead, Councilmember Chavez will serve as the first liaison.

Also Tuesday evening, the City Council officially decided to rotate the position on either a six-month or annual basis.

Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist also expressed interest in serving in that capacity.

“I think if we did it on a rotational basis, all of us would have an opportunity to work with the youth,” she said.

Sternquist added, “They do not need to have the same person there all the time.”


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