Councilmember Victor Gordo took the oath of office as Pasadena’s new mayor just after 2 p.m. on Monday, succeeding Terry Tornek, whom Gordo defeated for re-election in the Nov. 3 runoff election.
Gordo, a 19-year councilmember from District 5, wore a blue suit and blue tie as he took the oath on the steps of City Hall in a ceremony lacking the usual pomp and circumstance of an inauguration day because of protocols for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to batter the country and particularly Los Angeles County.
Standing in front of the city’s Christmas tree, Gordo, a native of Zacatecas, Mexico, who came to the United States at age 5 speaking no English, was sworn in by former Vice Mayor Bill Crowfoot, for whom Gordo served as a field representative from 1993 to 2001, when Crowfoot was councilmember for District 5. Crowfoot is now a Pasadena attorney and L.A. County Superior Court judge.
Gordo, a lawyer, was elected to the council himself in 2001 and has served ever since.
“I’m humbled by the trust and confidence that you, the voters, have placed in me,’’ Gordo said as car horns from supporters honked in the distance – the closest that supporters could come amid the coronavirus protocols.
With his family – including wife Kelly; son Michael; and daughter Emma – nearby, Gordo also acknowledged the immense challenges that await his administration in the COVID era.
“I commit to you,’’ Gordo said, “(that) we will do everything we can to support our businesses.’’
“I commit to listening, to ensure a tone that’s fitting to our city and to ensure that City Hall is responsive to all citizens of our city,” he added. “I am confident about our future. … Our capacity for success far exceeds the challenges that we face today.
“It’s with humility and determination that I commit to the people of Pasadena.”
Gordo beat Tornek with 54.8 percent of the vote in the Nov. 3 runoff.
Meanwhile, Felicia Williams was sworn in as the new councilmember from District 2, succeeding Margaret McAustin, who did not seek re-election.
Councilmembers Tyron Hampton (District 1), Gene Masuda (District 4) and Steve Madison (District 6) also began their new terms Monday after winning re-election in March without the need of a November runoff.
Hampton and Williams, wearing protective face masks, took their oaths together on the City Hall steps, with City Clerk Mark Jomsky swearing them in. Masuda and Madison were later sworn in remotely by Jomsky, after the new council convened shortly after the swearing-in ceremonies outside City Hall.
Councilmember Andy Wilson of District 7 was unanimously appointed by his council colleagues as the city’s new vice mayor, succeeding Hampton. The vice mayor performs mayoral duties in the absence of the mayor. Wilson’s term as vice mayor ends on Dec. 12, 2022.
“Mayor Gordo, I’m excited to be your wingman,” said Wilson, a councilmember for 5 ½ years.