Arnerich Chosen As Next Mayor Of Danville, Cites Mental Health And Housing As Top Priorities For 2022 | News

At the town’s 40th annual Community Service Awards on Tuesday, Danville council members honored notable local residents before appointing Deputy Mayor Newell Arnerich as the town’s new mayor for the coming year.

Outgoing Mayor Renee Morgan also celebrated the end of a difficult year driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s housing crisis and the need to address local mental health issues amid the fallout of two High-profile fatal police shootings.

“We have had tragic incidents in our community and we had to find a way forward,” Arnerich said upon recognizing the outgoing mayor. “Renee was our spokesperson for that. She was the person representing Danville, to reassure, to show how we could pivot in our community.”

In Danville, the mayor is chosen from council members for a one-year term beginning the first Tuesday in December – marked for the past 40 years by the annual community installation and awards ceremony.

During Morgan’s one-year tenure, the pandemic continued as new variants emerged, as the state continued to tackle its housing crisis and Danville gained national limelight in the trial of Andrew Hall, a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department who was convicted of assault with a gun but cleared of manslaughter with a deadlocked jury in October for the shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda in 2018.

Arboleda, and another man who was fatally shot by Hall on duty in Danville in March of this year, Tyrell Wilson, both had histories of mental health issues that advocates and surviving family members say are believed to have occurred. had to be treated by other community services long before Arboleda and Wilson. lost their lives.

“Our village is strong,” Morgan said in his outgoing speech as mayor. “It takes a village and we are strong. There is no denying that we love Danville. I am and I was proud to be your mayor and to be part of this team. My journey continues beyond today and I will continue to strive to make what is good big.

“Thank you for a challenging, inspiring, at times frustrating, but extremely productive year,” added Morgan. “We are all in there.”

Arnerich, who was vice-mayor last year, was named the next mayor by city councilor Robert Storer, and elected by city council unanimously, with no other candidate.

Council member Karen Stepper, who was the town’s mayor before Morgan’s tenure, proceeded with the appointment of Storer as the town’s new vice-mayor, again without another appointment, and a unanimous council vote.

“He always prioritizes balanced budgets, our strong law enforcement presence, which lives up to – we have our veterans, our police, our firefighters, all of our first responders, we are the safest city in California. “said Stepper.

Arnerich said that during his year as mayor, mental health will continue to be a top priority and his goal is to “make Danville the safest and happiest community on the planet.”

“COVID has shown one thing… that mental health in our community is far more of a problem than we thought,” Arnerich said. “Especially in a community, it’s a wealthy community, but its pain and suffering is more complicated – we have counselors in every school and we even have to do more.”

As a step in the right direction, Arnerich highlighted the winners of the city’s Community Service Award, and in particular Kathy Chiverton, Executive Director of the Discovery Counseling Center and recipient of the Danville Award at the ceremony that evening.

In addition to her work in Danville, Chiverton was recognized for her work on the county’s Measure X community advisory committee, advocating for mental health services as a top priority for funding the sales tax measure. passed by county voters last year.

Arnerich also pointed out that the city will continue to be challenged by state legislation aimed at addressing California’s housing shortage and its impacts locally.

“There’s a challenge you’re going to hear a lot about, and it won’t be an easy conversation,” Arnerich said. “The State of California is determined to come after cities, and especially beautiful communities like ours. They think they are helping us; they are destroying our communities and they make all the decisions in Sacramento that we don’t. have no choice. “

In addition to honoring Chiverton with the Danville Award, the board presented the Michael K. Shimansky Community Service Award to Ronit Batra, student administrator of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, for his work as founder and president of the Help SOAR organization.

The Merit Awards went to Meals on Wheels-Diablo Region, Elizabeth Szczesny, Lorrie Sammons, Marc Silveira and Walt Welti, Save Mount Diablo, Kay Wang and Karin O’Connell.

The full video of the 40th Annual Mayor’s Installation and Community Service Awards is available here.

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