Published : Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 5:14 AM
Councilmember John Kennedy, who was succeeded as Pasadena’s Vice Mayor at Monday night’s Council meeting by District 1′s Tyron Hampton, leaves no doubt he had taken the job entrusted to him by Council colleagues seriously, but now he’s clearly looking ahead.
Kennedy had served two terms as Pasadena’s Vice Mayor before last night’s annual adjournment.
“I’ve made every effort to be supportive of the elected Mayor and my colleagues as I served out my role as the Vice Mayor of the city,” he told Pasadena Now. “It’s been indeed an honor for me to serve in this capacity and I have not taken it lightly in terms of looking at the city as one city.”
Kennedy said the Vice Mayor gets an “inkling” of what it’s like to lead municipal Pasadena, though not too much more.
“The goal is always to represent the City and your colleagues and the Mayor in a high fashion, with aplomb, bringing all of your expertise to bear on the subject matter that’s in front of you,” he explained.
Kennedy’s duties typically began with a negation of sorts.
“The Mayor was not available,” he explained the finer points of the position. “I’m [was called] upon to act in oftentimes ceremonial capacities on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Pasadena. So I did that at the request of the Mayor. And additionally, there were occasions where the Mayor had to recuse himself from the council.”
Kennedy revealed he has considered entering national politics by making a run at becoming the second American President to bear the name Kennedy. But the size of the Democratic Party’s field of candidates for this upcoming election convinced him he can be more useful at home.
“My focus has to remain where it is, to make sure the needs of the residents and business owners of District 3 in Pasadena are generally, adequately met,” he said.
Housing, Kennedy said, remains a “critical component” of his leadership in the area of affordability and will continue.
His role as chairman of the Public Safety Committee means the Councilmember will be front and center when it comes to issues involving crime, police action, the fire department, emergency preparedness and response.
“And anyone who is paying attention in an intimate way,” he added, “recognizes that there are further decisions to be made to make the City of Pasadena whole related in relation to finances.
From his perch on the city finance and audit committee, Kennedy hopes that measures might eventually be enacted that will, “adequately address the unfunded pension obligation and the growing labor costs.”