Semi-official returns for the April 11 election for Cerritos City Council, released April 17, show real estate attorney Frank Aurelio Yokoyama slightly ahead of police detective Chuong Vo.
Former mayor Grace Hu is the top vote-getter among seven candidates for two council seats, receiving 3,375 votes. Yokoyama, previously in third place, is now in second place with 3,066 and Vo, previously in second place, is third with 3,033.
They are followed by former councilmembers Bruce Barrows with 2,197, technology consultant Anantha Ramachandran with 1,434, former assemblymember Sally Havice with 651, and software professional Ashish Kumar Verma with 386.
According to City Clerk Vida Barone, only 16 uncounted ballots remain, not enough to put Vo ahead of Yokoyama. The unsigned vote-by-mail ballots can be added to the official count if those voters show up to add their signatures.
For Yokoyama, this is a case of “third time’s the charm” as he ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2013 and 2015.
Vo, who also ran in 2015, thanked his supporters and was quoted by The Press-Telegram as saying, “I don’t think we walked away as losers. I think we walked away as learning a lot.”
The results won’t be official until the council holds a special meeting on April 25 to certify the count.
The election for two seats on the Arcadia Unified School District Board was held on April 18. Vice President Fenton Eng, who joined the board in 2013, ran for re-election; President Janet Chew, who has been on the board since 2007, did not.
Early results showed Eng in the lead with 1,683 votes (34.03 percent), followed by community volunteer Leigh Chavez with 1,490 (30.13 percent), registered nurse and volunteer Kathy Yamane with 1,280 (25.88 percent) and police officer Paul Riccchiazzi trailing with 493 (9.97 percent). If the percentages hold, Yamane will be out of contention.
Yamane has served the Arcadia High School PTSA as president (2012-13, 2013-14), executive vice president (2014-15, 2016-17) and parliamentarian (2015-16). She was also PTSA president for First Avenue Middle School and Holly Avenue Elementary School.
She said in her candidate’s statement: “My family and I have benefited from the quality public education received in our Arcadia schools. From the minute that our eldest child started her formal education, we have been involved and served for the past 24 years at our schools.
“It has been my honor and privilege to be involved with our community in our PTAs and other community organizations to enhance education for ALL children. I am very passionate about our children and their future. My passion, desire and commitment is to continue supporting to the best of my ability, all of our Arcadia children as they move forward in their educational endeavors.
“I seek to continue to serve our community with honesty and knowledge of the experience of raising children in this community. I do not take the responsibility of this service lightly.
“I believe that a community educates our children. I believe our public education has provided our children with a fantastic base for their future endeavors as world citizens. I would appreciate your vote and support as we work together to continue to build a world-class learning environment for our children.”
The other school board members are Cung Nguyen and Lori Phillipi, who have served since 2007, and Kay Kinsler, who has served since 2011.