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Fountain Valley City Council selects Michael Vo as mayor, Patrick Harper as mayor pro tem

Michael Vo, shown speaking during an Aug. 18 Fountain Valley City Council meeting, will serve his third term as mayor.
Michael Vo, shown speaking during an Aug. 18 Fountain Valley City Council meeting, will serve his third term as mayor.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Fountain Valley City Council welcomed two new members to the five-person governing body in a Dec. 1 meeting.

Glenn Grandis and Ted Bui were the top vote-getters from among the seven candidates who ran for two available seats on the council.

The seats had belonged to the city’s most recent mayor, Cheryl Brothers, who served on the council from 2003-10 and from 2013-20, and Steve Nagel, who had served the last three terms consecutively.

Grandis led all candidates with 10,444 votes. Bui received 9,218 votes, while Brothers finished third with 8,505 votes and Mai-Khanh Tran was fourth with 8,276 votes. Nagel did not run for reelection.

Once the new council members had taken the oath of office, the panel selected Michael Vo as mayor and Patrick Harper as mayor pro tem, both by unanimous votes. It will be Vo’s third term as mayor, as he held the position in 2014 and 2018.

Patrick Harper is Fountain Valley's new mayor pro tem.
Patrick Harper is Fountain Valley’s new mayor pro tem.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“Less than a month ago, all council members, all city department heads and the city manager, we got together for a whole day [for] strategic planning for the city,” Vo said. “The city now has a new three-year goal to maintain the culture and environment of a nice place to live, attract and retain revenue-producing enterprise, achieve fiscal stability in accordance with the 20-year financial plan, and attract and retain quality staff. Supporting this three-year goal will be my main focus as mayor.”

Vo also said that the city has been working to address the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, free walk-up testing was provided at Fountain Valley Sports Park.

The new Southern California stay-at-home order will last a minimum of three weeks. Monday marked the first day that the latest restrictions have been in place.

In his introductory remarks on the dais, Grandis said that he had “big shoes to fill” as Brothers and Nagel leave the council. He thanked both for their volunteerism in the community.

“I’d like to thank the residents of Fountain Valley,” Grandis added. “Thank you for your votes, thank you for your trust. I will commit to work hard, keep our city a nice place to live.

“There’s a lot of big decisions coming up, especially a lot of development in our community, and decisions we make today will definitely affect us for the next 20 years or so. I have to say, I am truly, truly honored to be able to serve our community.”

Bui said that he was elected to the City Council because Fountain Valley voters were looking for a new voice.

“Moving forward, I hope City Council members, city managers and city staff, we can share the same vision to move this city forward, to keep this community a nice place to live,” Bui said. “As your new Councilman, I will do my best to serve our community.”

In his farewell, Nagel, who was a longtime member of the Fountain Valley Fire Department, said he took pride in being elected to the council three times. He expressed his gratitude to city staff too.

“The city manager, the directors and the managers and all the departments have been tremendous, and I can’t thank them enough,” Nagel. “I think we are well served. We have a full-service city, which being a small city is tough to do, but we do it, and we do it cheaper and better than anybody in the county.”

Brothers kept her comments brief before she was overcome with emotion. She was then presented with a plaque by Vo for her service.

“I sort of started a different path in the city and served on the Park Commission for nine years,” Brothers said. “We still had a park commission then, and worked on developing our parks, which are great. Then served on the Planning Commission for six years, where, as Patrick knows, you leave a big imprint on the city when you work on the Planning Commission, and it’s been my honor to serve on your City Council, so thank you.”

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