Government works best when it is connected to those it serves.

I believe that, and during my 1st term as Mayor in 2005, I did something to make that idea a part of my city’s history and identity.

While still under construction, I opened our future City Council Chamber to City residents for an event I called ”My City Hall”. City residents – young and old - had one evening to enter the shell of our under construction City Hall and write their messages of hope and vision for our city’s future on the floor and walls of our future Council Chambers.

These messages, in English, Russian and Spanish as befits our diverse city, are still there, hidden beneath the finishings, but a constant reminder of the community which granted us the charter of cityhood and of their dreams, hopes and visions of which Councilmembers are but stewards.

Through the “My City Hall” event, my friends and neighbors closed out my 1st term as Mayor and ensured that our Council Chambers would be unique in California!