Mayor Cristina Madrid and Councilman Dick Stanford said their goodbyes Monday at their final City Council meeting.After 12 years as either councilwoman or mayor , Madrid, 55, decided not to seek re- election and instead will concentrate on her work as a field director with county Supervisor Gloria Molina.
thanked the voters, her
colleagues, citizens and employees for the wonderful times she
experienced as an elected representative and described her
time in office as a great adventure.She
also thanked her
opponents, saying their criticism helped her
to crystalize her
positions and build a reputation of not backing down.
"I'm going to take my place on the great mandala, the circle of life ... (a place) in the history of Azusa,' Madrid
said.Madrid, the city's first female mayor, was elected to the two- year position in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003.She
fought for better air quality and protecting the environment.
also been criticized as being divisive and slowing down progress by voting against proposed development.Stanford
, 68, sold his
Azusa home and plans to tour the country in a 40-foot motor home when his
second term expires March 21 and the new council is sworn into office.
At times, the two fought on the same side of issues.They both rallied against a proposed casino in the 1990s and battled hate crimes.
But more often than not, they disagreed. Madrid
fought against the development of a 1,250-home neighborhood in the foothills, while Stanford
often called for Azusa Pacific University
to pay its fair share of taxes.Stanford
was a supporter of the private Christian university.His
critics said he
position as editor of The Azusa Gazette
to rake people over the coals when they disagreed with him.In October 2002, a group launched a recall effort, which failed.He
also drew criticism when he
car after taking prescription drugs in preparation for oral surgery last summer.He
was cited for misdemeanor driving under the influence. Stanford said he is most proud of his work in forming the Azusa Human Relations Commission after a rash of hate crimes in the 1990s.Stanford
wanted to think he
had a part in polishing the blue-collar city's image by representing Azusa
on various boards and commissions locally and regionally including on the Gold Line II Joint Powers Authority
, the San Gabriel Council of Governments
, the Southern California Association of Governments
, Foothill Transit
and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito
and Vector Control.
used to be a joke.The City Council bickered and got nothing accomplished,' Stanford
has become a city that functions well ... and works for the good of the people.I hope I had a hand in it.'Madrid
and the sitting council implemented new development codes and zoning changes that they say will eliminate blight and will attractive developments over the next 20 years.