ROSEMEAD — A new majority in the city could mean big changes down the road.
The six candidates faced off on two opposing slates, with future development as a central battlefront.
Maggie Clark won with 1,914 votes, according to an unofficial tally provided by the City Clerk’s Office. Clark was followed by Sandra Armenta with 1,809. Armenta and Steven Ly, who had 1,790 were nearly tied all night. Three seats were up for grabs.
Mayor John Tran, who appeared to have been bounced from office, tallied 1,679. Newcomer Henry Lo and incumbent John Nuez also trailed with 1,511 and 1,280 respectively.
“I’m ecstatic, I think it’s wonderful,” Clark said. “I think the people want to have more control back in their hands.”
The slate backed by Clark swept the elections. The winners will join councilwoman Polly Low, who usually voted with the former majority, and Gary Taylor, who typically voted with the Clark. Low and Taylor were not up for reelection.
Under the new council, Low will likely be outvoted on most issues by a 4-1 margin.
Each slate included incumbents and newcomers. On one side Mayor Tran and Councilman Nuez teamed up with Lo, a member of the Garvey school board; on the other, Councilwoman Clark teamed up with Ly, an entrepreneur, and Armenta, a special education teacher at Sanchez Elementary.
Clark’s slate asked voters to reject the direction the city has been headed since Tran and Nuez took over as part of the council majority four years ago. They pointed most fervently to the city’s new general plan, a blueprint for future development that was approved by the council majority last year.
Their campaign alleged the general plan would result in a development boom and population increase, creating more traffic and less parking, and vowed to amend the plan.
“We’ll put it back to what it was, so each project would stand on its own merit,” Clark said.
Tran, Nuez and Lo countered that the new plan manages growth based on smart-growth principals. They said it would help bring development to struggling parts of the city and improve public transportation opportunities.
All of the candidates pledged to bring more mainstream retail to Rosemead, improve public safety and improve relations among residents of the diverse city.
Before becoming a teacher, Armenta, 36, worked for the city of Rosemead. She has lived in the city for more than 30 years and has also volunteered to direct local youth teams.
Clark has been on the city council for 18 years and lived in Rosemead for more than 40 years. She also served on the city’s planning commission for three years and on various regional boards and commissions and holds a teaching credential.
Ly, 23, served as vice president of public policy on the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce last year and is starting his own business in real estate and consulting.