Councilman Dave Weaver held back tears after being appointed mayor Monday night — but not because he was touched by the honor.
As he tried not to weep on the dais, he explained that just hours before entering the standing-room only council chambers, he had decided to put down his dog and photo companion in past election materials.
“I'm pretty down right now,” Weaver said. “I just can’t think about anything else tonight.”
The Golden Retriever-Labrador mix, who was no stranger to City Hall, suffered from arthritis, a heart condition, kidney problems and had poor eyesight.
Weaver wasn't the only official who choked up during the ceremony attended by about 150 people.
Re-elected Glendale Unified school board member Greg Krikorian mourned the loss of his father, John Krikorian, a community leader, as he gave his acceptance speech.
“This moment's a little bittersweet,” said Krikorian, the top vote-getter. “I would give the whole election to have my dad back.”
Elected officials also told stories of their families suffering during the Armenian genocide and paid tribute to the victims who were injured or killed at the Boston Marathon earlier in the day.
“Today's tragedy in Boston reminds us of how precious this life can be,” re-elected City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian said.
Despite the somber moments, officials also heralded messages of hope and highlighted positive changes at City Hall.
Former Councilman Rafi Manoukian, who was sworn in as city treasurer, said that when he first was elected to the council in 1999, he had witnessed the mistreatment of Armenian residents by city staff.
“I can say in a very clear manner that attitude has changed 180 degrees,” he said.
But Zareh Sinanyan, the only non-incumbent elected to the council, said there is much to improve upon, citing the need for increased transparency, term limits for council members and a new process for selecting a mayor that doesn’t include “unnecessary horse-trading and haggling.”
Sinanyan joined his new colleagues on the council to vote for Weaver as mayor. Councilman Ara Najarian, who received the most votes during the election, nominated the 16-year councilman.
Surrounded by a throng of supporters, Sinanyan said after the ceremony that changing the mayoral selection process will take time and that he chose Weaver because the longtime councilman had been skipped over too many times.
During long tenure, Weaver has served as mayor just twice before; his last one-year term in 2006.
“He was wronged,” Sinanyan said.
-- Brittany Levine, firstname.lastname@example.org