Despite stepping down from office, Mayor Frank Quintero said this week he still plans to be involved in certain local issues such as veterans affairs.
"I'll continue to work on those issues that mean something to me," Quintero said as he sat on the City Council dais for the last time on Tuesday.
The Vietnam veteran helped found a coalition of veteran service providers last year and plans to continue serving on the board.
"We're going to make our mark on the veterans community," Quintero said, highlighting the YWCA Glendale's commitment to programming for female veterans, and the fact that an affordable housing development called Veterans Village is in the works.
After 12 years on the council — three of which he served as mayor — Quintero said he's seen the city improve, despite financial challenges posed by the protracted recession.
"It's been a wonderful 12 years," he said. "Hard work, no question about it, but well worth it."
Several council members thanked Quintero for his service and supporting their political careers.
"He was one of the individuals in the '90s who got me involved in the political process," said Councilman Rafi Manoukian, who is stepping down from the council next week to become the city treasurer. "I appreciate his concern back then and his advice."
Councilwoman Laura Friedman commended Quintero for being a rational and progressive voice on the dais and called him a mentor before giving him a glass gavel engraved with the years he served as mayor and encased in a royal blue, felt box as a gift from his colleagues.
"I would have fractured this a few times," Quintero said. "This is beautiful. I've never seen anything like this."
The city plans to host a formal farewell reception for Quintero on Thursday in Parcher Plaza at City Hall, 613 E. Broadway. The reception is set to begin at 6 p.m., with the program scheduled at 7 p.m.