Monday, April 19, 2021

The city is in good hands with Ed Eng as its new mayor

Mayor Ed Eng


Councilmember Ed Eng was selected as the new mayor during last week's city council meeting and Dr. Anthiny Otero, an LAPD lieutenent was chosen mayor pro-tem.

Eng represents the 3rd council district encompassing Hillsborough, most of Green Hills, and the Behringer Park area.

Eng is the Director of the Economy and Efficiency Commission, which functions as an advisory body for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

This will be the second time Eng serves as mayor and he credits the support and inspiration he receives from his wife Cathy a teacher, his son Brandon and his extended family for his current success.

In a general law city, the mayor's position is often described as nothing more than a ceremonial function with little added responsibility. There was nothing ceremonial or routine by the year outgoing mayor Lewis experienced.

John Lewis

Eng will likely experience much of the uncertainty John Lewis experienced when he was handed the gavel last April just as the coronavirus was tightening its grip on the city.

In the year that followed the city was faced with local food shortages, civil unrest, and prolonged redeployment of some of its public safety resources to help quell the unrest and to battle wildfires. 

With many local businesses and residents facing financial ruin, it was the leadership of the outgoing mayor and a refusal to place a closed for business sign in front of City Hall that helped steer the city and community towards stability.

Lewis, city staff, and the rest of the city council invested a lot of time and effort helping businesses in town keep their doors open by quickly enacting rules that allowed outdoor dining, developing an online directory of businesses, and programs for struggling small businesses and residents that included grants that helped pay the rent or mortgage.

The result is the city projects it will receive 30.4% more or  $2.4 million in additional sales tax revenue going into the general fund that helps turn what started out as a $2.2 million deficit into a $2.7 million surplus forecast for the current fiscal year.

City leaders have many more achievements that good leadership has made possible that include rising 12 spots on the Safewise safest cities in the state list to #38, and 5th in the county, a crime rate that saw reported crime fall in all categories except one, vehicle theft.

More than $8 million in capital projects are underway or have been completed with more to come in the next budget year including traffic signals at Imperial Hwy and Burgess Ave, and a second at Telegraph Rd. and Hutchins Dr.

City staff and council members put together three drive-thru events for the kids last Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, and the expansion at Splash! featuring a new slide has been completed.

While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, city leaders are aware that many will continue to experience hard times for years to come and they are fast at work designing a plan to shift $9.06 million in federal funds for pandemic relief to those that need assistance.

While it will probably be another year until the July 3rd celebration returns to Regional Park, the high school has just received approval for indoor sports competition while the reopening of Splash! is expected in the not too distant future. An abbreviated schedule of events at the theatre should begin in the latter part of 2020.

Ed Eng is a proven leader with a resume of career achievements that indicate the city will be in good hands as our mayor.

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