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New and old members take seats on Pasadena school board and City Council

By André Coleman 05/09/2013

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Newly elected and re-elected members of the Pasadena Board of Education and the Pasadena City Council formally took their seats on Monday after separate ceremonies at City Hall and Pasadena Unified School District headquarters.

In an afternoon meeting, Tyron Hampton was sworn in as the new District 3 school board member along with incumbents Kim Kenne of District 1, Elizabeth Pomeroy of District 5 and Scott Phelps of District 7.

Meanwhile, at Monday night’s ceremonial council meeting at City Hall, new District 3 Councilman John Kennedy was sworn in along with incumbent Councilman Victor Gordo of District 5 and Councilman Terry Tornek of District 7.

“There is a lot of work ahead,” Kennedy told the Pasadena Weekly prior to the meeting. “There are lots of issues and projects I am interested in giving leadership to, but the biggest issues are capital improvement and the general plan. Those are frameworks for the success of city government.”

Kennedy won the seat vacated by longtime District 3 Councilman Chris Holden, who stepped down after winning the 41st State Assembly seat in the November election. Kennedy handily defeated businessman Ishmael Trone and Nicholas Benson to win Holden’s old seat.

The race was one of the more controversial in recent history, with Kennedy supporters questioning Trone’s eligibility to run by claiming he lived in Altadena with his ex-wife, and not in the district, as required. For their part, Trone supporters sent out mailers containing an old newspaper story detailing Kennedy’s arrest and acquittal in the shooting of Jonathan Taylor in 1993.

In the school district elections, Hampton’s heavily favored opponent, Ruben Hueso, raised more than $30,000, while Hampton raised about $10,000. Hueso was the top vote-getter in the March primary election, but Hampton hired local political consultant Martin Truitt to lead his campaign during the April runoff.

Hampton said he is still walking the district. “I still got my running shoes on and I am going to keep them on,” Hampton told the Weekly. “I am still out there walking and listening to the community. That’s what it’s about — listening to our community and educating our youth.”

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