| Town Councilwoman Candace Andersen was installed as the new Danville Mayor for 2008 on Tuesday evening, and Councilman Newell Arnerich was chosen as vice mayor.
The ceremony took place at the 26th annual Mayor's Installation and Community Service Awards on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Danville Community Center. More than 140 people packed the room, with several standing around the perimeter.
"I look forward to working with the council on various projects," Andersen said, noting one of them includes traffic congestion.
In addition to being councilwoman, Andersen is a lawyer, the mother of six children, and a member of several volunteer organizations, including being town liaison to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. She is originally from Hawaii, and her husband is a Danville native.
"I'm a consensus builder," Andersen said. "I'd like to listen before making a decision. I can multi-task. It's going to be an exciting year."
Her parents Tom and Dianne Kay - who flew from Hawaii to see Andersen - said they are proud of their daughter.
"Candace has always been involved with the community since she was (a teenager)," said Dianne Kay. "She kind of wants to save the world."
"She has a rare quality of being intellectual and being personable," said Tom Kay.
Outgoing Mayor Mike Shimansky expressed his joy in serving on the council before he handed the gavel to Andersen. He has served as a town public official for more than 20 years. He also has worked on numerous volunteer projects, including the Red Cross, and began monthly coffee mornings with the mayor for constituents to air concerns.
"He has never missed a meeting," Andersen said about Shimansky, noting that she will continue the mayor's morning with residents the first Friday of each month at Father Nature's on Prospect.
At the event, the Town of Danville awarded volunteers, architects and builders with plaques, pins and certificates for their devoted service. The crowd gave the volunteers warm cheers and "thank you's."
The Blue Star Moms, an educator, architects, builders and other volunteer groups were honored for their work. Also, members of the Design Review Board, Planning, Arts and Park commissions were given awards.
"It's been a pleasure," said Sandy Varco, award recipient and member of the Design Review Board for 16 years.
"She has given her all to the town," said Councilman Arnerich.
Councilman Mike Doyle was given an award for his long-term public service.
"He's one of the healthiest guys," said Arnerich. "The year he moved to Danville was the year I was born: 1952. He has donated 20,000 hours of his life."
Andersen said she is looking forward to her first experience as mayor. "I'm going to continue what we have been doing before," Andersen said. "It will be an interesting year."
She noted that she would continue to support bringing in downtown businesses while keeping the small-town charm in Danville. Additionally, she would like to see hillsides free from homes and to foster projects that are good for neighbors.
"I'm pushing for people to give me and the council feedback," she said.
She also plans to continue the town's fiscal responsibility, economic development and art in public spaces. In addition, she wants to build on the strength of neighborhoods and churches to foster the feeling of community. She noted that working on existing programs, such as Street Smarts - a traffic safety program for children - gets resident participation.
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