The City Council honored fallen member John Kennedy at Monday’s meeting.
Kennedy’s nephews Chris Morey and Jonathan Kennedy opened the meeting by leading the council in the pledge of allegiance at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Kennedy’s photo along with flowers were placed at his seat at the dias. The City Council adjourned in his honor at the end of the meeting.
“On behalf of the Kennedy family we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the City Council for the chance to honor John J. Kennedy. He lived a life well lived and he loved his community with all of his heart. Above all that he was a man of God,” said Jonathan Kennedy.
Kennedy, 61, died on July 21. He was reelected to another four year term in June.
A lifelong Pasadena resident, Kennedy was the first sitting councilmember to die while in office in modern times. Last week’s council meeting was canceled in his honor.
“I’ve been fortunate to serve with John on this council since 2013,” Gordo said. “He was much more than a colleague, he was my dear friend. He was a man who exuded compassion, intellect and integrity. He was full of personality and a love for Pasadena that is unmatched.
“Though he was ill, that didn’t stop John from doing what he loved—helping make positive, impactful change, and create a better Pasadena not just for those of us here now but for future generations.”
Councilmember Gene Masuda said he would always remember John and his warm smile.
“I want to give my deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time,” Masuda said. “He cared so much for the residence in District 3 and he was so proud to be born and raised in Pasadena.”
Vice-Mayor Andy WIlson said Kennedy made him a better community service.
“I’m so grateful for his passion and energy which was all dedicated to making our community better,” said Wilson.
Councilmember Steve Madison said although he and Kennedy did not always agree politically, they had more in common than their differences.
“Kennedy was known on a national scale. Not a couple of years ago and I stood in his bedroom and Joe Biden walked into his bedroom and John introduced me to him,” said Councilmember Steve Madison.
Madison said he recently saw Kennedy on a documentary about Obama.
Madison and Kennedy disagreed from time to time politically. They would text each other after the disagreements.
“One of the most difficult things is we never got to say goodbye. It’s a painful reminder that we don’t know if we have a week or years remaining here.”
Councilmember Felicia Williams worked with Kennedy at Southern California Edison.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing today of my colleague and friend, Councilmember John J. Kennedy,” Williams said. “ In addition to my father serving as a mentor to John during his leadership at the NAACP, John and I also worked together at Southern California Edison for many years. I will miss his humor, friendship through thick and thin, and most of all his absolute dedication to the Pasadena community that served as an inspiration to me and others. Our thoughts are with his family as the City mourns the loss of our irreplaceable John.”
Even though Kennedy did not have children, Tyron Hampton said he would text Kennedy every Father’s Day in honor of all the young people Kennedy mentored.
“It’s really hard to know I am going to miss a brother and a family member,” Hampton said. “John was all about Pasadena. Wherever he went, he made Pasadena look well. I am really going to miss him.”
The City Council has already begun the process to appoint a new representative in District 3. According to the City’s Charter, the City Council has 75 days to appoint a new District 3 replacement.
That appointed Councilmember will serve out the remainder of Kennedy’s term which ends in December.
It is not known if the City Council will have to vote on a second appointment to cover Kennedy’s reelection.
According to the City Charter, the appointee will serve until the next General Municipal Election in 2024.
Gordo said the City Council is wasting no time figuring out a process, and will share those details of the process very soon.
A public celebration of Kennedy’s life is scheduled for Sept. 30 in front of City Hall.
“We have been in close communication with the Kennedy family and will share details on the scheduled service when those details are available,” Gordo said. “The City also plans to hold a separate event to celebrate Councilmember Kennedy’s life and legacy and, when those details are confirmed, we will also share that information with you.”