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HISTORIC CERRITOS ELECTION 2017: Grace Hu, Mark Pulido, And Frank Yokoyama Move To Take Control Of City Council

In a 3-2 vote, with Hu, Yokoyama, and Pulido voting yes, Hu (left) was appointed as Mayor of Cerritos, removing Naresh Solanki from his Mayor pro tem position. Later, the three, including Yokoyama (far right), voted to place Pulido (center) as Mayor pro tem.

 

By Brian Hews

Fireworks erupted at this week’s Cerritos City Council Transition event, as newly elected Council members Grace Hu, Frank Yokoyama, and incumbent Mark Pulido moved  to take control of a City Council ruled by the same Republican leadership group for over 25 years.

City Clerk Vida Barone declared the Mayor’s chair vacant; immediately after that Yokoyama nominated Hu, with Pulido seconding the motion.

An audible gasp could be heard from some of the council-members and the chambers.

Councilman Jim Edwards then nominated Solanki as Mayor, saying “the natural progression is for him to be our next Mayor.”

In a 3-2 vote, with Hu, Yokoyama, and Pulido voting yes, Hu was appointed as Mayor of Cerritos.

A loud and long applause filled the Council chambers.

Hu then addressed the crowd and said, “she was very honored to be here;” she also thanked all who helped in her election.

Hu then opened the nomination for Mayor pro tem, Yokoyama once again, in quick fashion, nominated Pulido as Mayor pro tem; Solanki nominated Edwards.

Only a roll call is needed to confirm the Mayor pro tem, and in a 3-2 vote, with Hu, Yokoyama, and Pulido voting yes, Pulido was appointed as Mayor pro-tem.

An audible gasp along with another loud and long applause filled the Council chambers.

As officials were changing the placards that designate position on the council, Edwards asked Mayor Hu if he could speak.

A visibly shocked Edwards, who did not congratulate Hu or Pulido, spoke out saying, ”in the 61 year history of this council each member has been given the opportunity to serve as Mayor Pro Tem and then Mayor, this has been the order of all coming into office, with very few exceptions.” Edwards went on to say, “I feel this is a sad day in many respects. What are we saying about tradition and respect? What has been done this evening is wrong. It is not about personalities. What are we telling our children? The natural progression has been interrupted and Solanki has not been given his fair opportunity. This is not the Cerritos I have lived in. I am very disappointed in what has transpired tonight.”

The applause for Edwards was not nearly as loud as those for Hu, Yokoyama, and Pulido.

 

 

Edwards omitted the fact that in 2013, then Cerritos Mayor Barrows and Council-persons Carol Chen and George Ray denied Pulido his appointment of Yokoyama to the Planning Commission.

Hu countered Edwards’ reply saying, “things have changed, it is not a sad day for the city, it is a great day for the City. We have new council-members to work for the City and work for the people, we were elected and received the majority vote to be Mayor and Mayor pro-tem, I congratulate Mark as Mayor pro tem. Mark is a very experienced council-member who works very hard for the City, this is not a sad day.”

An obviously angry Mayor pro tem Pulido then spoke. “Respectfully to my colleague Mr. Edwards, it was a sad day for me when I received an email with a spread spread sheet from someone who is no longer on the city council dictating with who should become Mayor and Mayor pro tem, outside of the public interest.”

Sources are telling HMG-CN the spreadsheet is from Bruce Barrows, sent February 10, 2016, as if Barrows was assuming he was going to get elected in 2017 and choose leaders.

“This was done in a very un-transparent and corrupt way of choosing leaders. It was a sad day when I received that email, but I knew one day, justice would prevail. And that is what we are seeing tonight.”

Pulido went on to slam Barrows again, “I was most saddened recently when a former council member called into question the recent elections and the will of the people. I thought it was the most despicable and horrible act by a former member of this council.”

“What you have seen here today may not be pretty or comfortable, but it is justice.”

Hitting back at Edwards, Pulido finished, “and I might add one more thing, I am glad my children are here to witness this.”

Yokoyama commented, “I can’t believe I am here on the City Council. I was continually attacked, even up until last Monday, by lies and personal attacks about me. I have dreamt for years of receiving the privilege of serving this community. I thank you Cerritos voters for this honor to serve my hometown.”

“Six years ago I was given the opportunity to serve on the Planning Commission; four years ago I was deprived of that right,” (when Barrows, Chen and  Ray removed Yokoyama from his Planning Commissioner seat.)

“Pulido was disrespected, he wanted to place me on the Planning Commission, his council right was disrespected, your right (Mark) to appoint was denied. Thank you Cerritos voters, I am honored to serve my home town, I will work hard for you and I will do my best for you.”

 

 

 

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