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Lodi City Council members elect Alan Nakanishi mayor

Nakanishi outlines his plans for Lodi; Katzakian declared vice mayor

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:30 am, Thu Dec 6, 2012.

In a quick ceremony, Alan Nakanishi was unanimously elected to his second term as mayor in front of about 50 people at Carnegie Forum on Wednesday.

All of the council members praised Nakanishi's service at both the city and state level.

"He certainly knows the political process," Councilman Larry Hansen said. "It was an easy choice."

Nakanishi said he was happy and honored to serve as mayor, and listed five issues he plans to focus on in the next year.

In the list, Nakanishi wants the council to keep the community safe from gangs and criminals; pass a fiscally sound budget and retain all employees; keep the utility rates fair and reasonable; support economic growth, expand businesses and support local farmers; and have a closer working relationship with the school board.

Councilman Bob Johnson said he plans to help Nakanishi with his five goals.

"I said to him after he spoke of his five points that I'm wholly in accord with them," Johnson said.

In Lodi, the mayor position almost always rotates among the council members, and the vice mayor is usually elected as mayor the next term.

This is Nakanishi's second time serving as mayor. He first served in the position in 2000 when he was on the council from 1998 to 2002. Then he was elected to the 10th Assembly District in 2002. He remained in the Assembly for six years until he was termed out. He was re-elected to the council in 2010.

Outgoing Mayor JoAnne Mounce nominated Nakanishi for the top spot, and Johnson seconded the nomination.

"I think he's a great man, and Lodi's pretty lucky," she said.

The council honored Mounce, who served her second term as mayor this year. City Manager Rad Bartlam gave her a mayor's plaque and thanked her for her leadership and guidance.

"Passion is defined as having a strong liking or enthusiasm for a subject or activity," Bartlam said. "It's safe to say that JoAnne has a passion for this community. It's been her home basically all her life, and she has made it her life's work to improve it."

Aside from honoring her parents at the meeting, Mounce also thanked Lodi residents.

"I couldn't do this without the support and the appreciation of the citizens who voted me to serve in this capacity. ... It's been a pleasure, it's been an honor, and I hope the next four years will be as exciting and fun-filled as this one," she said.

Among Nakanishi's other main goals: He plans to hold at least three public town halls throughout the year, so Lodi residents can bring forward issues and concerns they have with the city.

Councilman Phil Katzakian was elected vice mayor, and said he also plans to help organize and attend the town halls. Johnson nominated him for the second-in-line position, and Hansen seconded the motion.

"I'm looking forward to getting a second chance," Katzakian said. "I'm more knowledgeable this time around. It's not quite as scary, and will hopefully be more enjoyable."

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com.

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