At the City of Pasadena’s reorganization meeting on Monday, Steve Madison was installed as the City’s Vice Mayor to officiate in the Mayor’s absence at council meetings and events.
By Rena Kurlander
Steve Madison’s appointment as Vice Mayor was controversial. Historically, the senior-most Councilmember who has not previously served as Vice Mayor is next in line for the position, which put Felicia Williams at the head of the line in 2022. At that point, Williams had only been on the City Council for two years and Steve Madison expressed concern about Williams’ short length of service on the Council.
Madison also said the appointment of the Vice Mayor should be reformed because the City Charter allows for a one-year term for Vice Mayor, but traditionally Councilmembers serve two consecutive terms as Vice Mayor.
Nevertheless, Williams agreed to make an agreement which was to share the vice mayor position.
In keeping with the agreement of Williams and Madison, the City Council voted to appoint Williams and Madison to one-year terms. Pursuant to the agreement, Madison was to serve in 2023 and Williams in 2024, but then Madison requested and was granted service in 2024 as Vice Mayor, thus ending Williams’ term as Vice Mayor after one year. This is Madison’s second time as Vice Mayor, having served in the role once under former Mayor Bill Bogaard.
Williams: A very sad day in Pasadena
Williams stated at the meeting that she had felt pressured to yield to Madison’s request last year to split the two-year term in the office. “Today is a very sad day in Pasadena,” Williams said. “In the past, the vice mayor has served for two years but as many of you know, my second year as vice mayor was taken away by a man who felt that he was entitled to serve as vice mayor for a second time, even though this was my only first time.”
The City Council has assembled a task force to review possible changes to the City Charter, including the Vice Mayor position.
> You can watch the full Pasadena Council Meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023 at this link. (Williams’ comments start around 12 minutes and 15 seconds).
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