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Duarte City Council Selects Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, Introduces New Council

At its December 8 City Council Meeting, the Duarte City Council appointed Bryan Urias from District 6 as Mayor and Margaret Finlay from District 4 as Mayor Pro Tem for the upcoming year. The Council also welcomed back Toney Lewis as well as new Councilmembers Jody Schulz and Vinh Truong.

Mayor Urias was first elected to the Duarte City Council in November of 2018. During his first term, Urias served as the council representative on the Duarte Community Coordinating Council and an alternate for both the Gold Line Joint Powers Authority and the Duarte Community Services Council. For eight years prior to joining the Council, Urias represented Duarte residents as District 5 Director on the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board and also worked with the City as a staff member for then Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis and later Congresswoman Judy Chu. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve Duarte in this new capacity,” said Mayor Urias. “The Council has challenging work ahead, and we’re committed to building an even stronger future for our City.”

Mayor Pro Tem Finlay formerly served as mayor for six terms. Her accomplishments include the installation of the soundwall on the south side of the 210 freeway, expanding programs for senior citizens, serving as chairperson for the successful 1998 Measure B School Bond effort that improves aging Duarte Schools and developing many local services and infrastructure. Mayor Pro Tem Finlay and her husband raised five children in Duarte, one of which, James Finlay, currently serves as a Board of Education Member for the Duarte Unified School District. “I look forward to working with this Council to achieve our goals, which include updating the City’s website to make information more accessible to residents and supporting our local businesses through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Pro Tem Finlay.

Toney Lewis, a lifelong member of the Duarte community and proud Duarte High School Falcon, will continue to represent Duarte’s 7th District. He served for more than 27 years in multiple capacities as a member of the fire service. Additionally, he served as a longtime volunteer of the non-profit, Habitat for Humanity. Councilmember Lewis is proud of Duarte’s diversity and looks forward to embracing it throughout his service. Some of his initial goals include increasing voter registration and community engagement.

Jody Schulz, a first-generation college graduate who holds a Master of Science degree, will now represent District 3. Councilmember Schulz has served the Duarte community as public safety commissioner. She will leverage her skills of tracking issues, analyzing data, increasing efficiency and advancing strategic thinking in her role. Councilmember Schulz is an active member of the community and belongs to several community organizations that represent Duarte’s diverse population, including the Duarte Rotary Club, Duarte Chamber of Commerce and Duarte Women’s Club.

Vinh Truong, serving Duarte’s 2nd District, is the child of Chinese immigrants who came to the United States in the 1970s and settled in Duarte in 1985. Councilmember Truong attended Duarte schools through high school and went on to become a licensed life and health agent. He has held a seat on the Duarte Economic Development Commission and served as a board member of the Santa Anita Family YMCA. In 2019, Councilmember Truong was appointed to Duarte’s Financial Advisory Task Force, which allowed him to learn about the City’s financial condition and engrain in him the value of economic growth.

Your Duarte City Council

 

Top: Mayor Brian Urias and Mayor Pro Tem Margaret Finlay

Bottom: Councilmembers Tzeitel Paras-Caracci, Vinh Truong, Jody Schulz, Samuel Kang and Toney Lewis