Milpitas has a new City Council.
Last night, residents from Milpitas and surrounding communities packed into the City Council chambers to witness Carmen Montano, the first woman Mayor in Milpitas history, get sworn in. Hon Lien and Garry Barbadillo were also sworn in as City Councilmembers.
At the beginning of the program, there was a presentation to the outgoing Mayor and Councilmember wherein Milpitas City Manager Steve McHarris spoke to honor Rich Tran and Karina Dominguez for their service…
“You have contributed in many ways and your accomplishments are extensive,” said McHarris.
He presented a flag that had flown over Milpitas’ Civic Center to Dominguez. Once she received the flag, Dominguez left the Chambers without speaking and did not stay on the dais to witness the newly elected officials being sworn in.
Dominguez served one four-year term as Councilmember. She ran against Montano for Mayor in the November election, but came in third place with 25.01% of the vote.
McHarris then presented a flag to Tran, who gave some remarks before the mic, thanking everyone for supporting him during his three back-to-back mayoral terms…
“As I exit City Hall, I know that the same culture remains among the council where there’s going to be a lot of selflessness. And I’m excited about that for our city,” said Tran. “And I think we’re going to see the results coming out of the city council meeting agendas.”
After she was sworn into office, Montano thanked Milpitas’ voters and her volunteers for their support during her campaign. She also spoke of the importance of dedicating oneself to public service, and how she will always strive to address the issues that are important to the people of our city…
“With that, I am humbled and at the same time proud to be standing before you as daughter of farmworkers and granddaughter of immigrants that came to this country in the 1920s to escape persecution during the Mexican Revolution,” stated Montano in her speech. “And my mother’s side whose grandparents were here when Texas was still part of Mexican territory. My parents taught me the value of hard work, dignity, and faith in God.”
Toward the end of her speech, Montano fought back tears as she stated the names of her late parents and spoke of her mayoral accomplishment as “a testament that one can achieve anything in this life if you put your mind to it.”
Garry Barbadillo was sworn in as Councilmember. In his speech, he spoke of his hopes for the things that the new council will be able to accomplish together. Barbadillo served on the Council from 2014-2018, and said he decided to run again to continue giving back.
He also spoke in depth about the importance of empowering the next generation, which he discovered was a big priority for him as he ran his campaign this year…
“Thank you again for all the support, all the love, and all the trust that you have entrusted not only to me, but to Hon and Mayor Carmen Montano,” said Barbadillo to the packed house.
Lien, who was sworn in next, had served as a Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) School Board Trustee since 2016. She was in the middle of her second term as Trustee when she won her Council race, receiving more votes (28.4%) than any other candidate.
“Working effectively with the Councilmembers and the City Staff is important to me. Our government has rules and policies that I look forward to implementing,” said Lien in her speech. “We will use these as guidance to address issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, public safety, traffic, and other issues.”
After the swearing-in ceremony, there was a short break downstairs to celebrate the occasion, complete with cake and refreshments. Then the new Councilmembers and Mayor took their places on the dais, alongside Councilmembers Anthony Phan and Evelyn Chua, to run their first council meeting together.
When the meeting commenced, Montano nominated Chua as the new Vice Mayor. Councilmember Phan seconded the nomination, and the resulting vote in Evelyn Chua’s favor was unanimous.
This was Milpitas’ last City Council meeting of the year. The Beat will follow the work of the new Council as they move forward into 2023.
This article has been updated.