Anthony R. Selvaggi is the new mayor after last week’s reorganization of the City Council.
Selvaggi, 69, who was first elected to the council in 1982, will serve for one year. He was mayor from 1984 to 1986. Councilman Charles E. Sylvia was chosen mayor pro tem.
A largely ceremonial post, the mayor usually rotates among the five members of the council. But for the past two years, Councilman Ronald Bates has served as mayor.
Selvaggi said that keeping the city financially healthy in the face of state budget cuts and declining sales tax revenues is at the top of his priority list.
“Our budget is always a concern,” Selvaggi said. “How we deal with the state taking away city money to balance its budget is a challenge. We have to continue with the programs we’ve been doing without raising taxes.”
He said he expects the council to begin the neighborhood preservation programs, such as extending grants or low-interest loans to renovate homes and businesses, and also to review and update the city’s emergency preparedness plan.
Crime is a constant issue, Selvaggi said, although “it’s not as bad as in other cities, but we want to stay on top of it.”
Selvaggi said he supports the idea that all cities be represented in the panel that will determine the future use of the El Toro Marine Corps base. Los Alamitos is one of several county cities that favor converting the base to an airport.
Selvaggi, a civilian employee with the U.S. Air Force until he retired 17 years ago, had heart surgery in February. He said he is in good physical shape.