- Business Advocacy
Councilmember David Mejia, left, and Mayor Jeff Maloney present a certificate to Barbara Messina for her 32 years of service to the city.
Councilmember Barbara Messina was honored by friends and colleagues for her 32 years of service to the city at a retirement dinner Oct. 20 at Almansor Court. It was a festive evening as guests met first at the gazebo for an outdoor reception with entertainment by the Alhambra High Jazz Band.
The main event took place in the Almansor Court’s recently renovated Lake View Room.The co-Masters of Ceremony were former Alhambra Mayor Mark Paulson and Alhambra Educational Foundation President Stephen Perry. First up was a serenade from the Alhambra Unified School District Marching Band, which included alumni musicians. The band played a lively set with drums and brass before settling into the National Anthem.
This was followed by an invocation from Reverend Patrick Mbazigwe of All Souls Catholic Church and introductions before dinner was served. Next up were tributes from several people who know Mrs. Messina well, including former Alhambra Mayor Parker Williams, former City Attorney Lee Dolley, former City Manager Julio Fuentes, former Mayor of San Gabriel Mary Cammarano, and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu.
Even as she bows out of her career of service to the City of Alhambra as a councilmember, mayor five times, and board member of the Alhambra Unified School District, Mrs. Messina is planning ahead to help Alhambra’s marching band perform in the 2020 Rose Parade and donated the dinner proceeds to the band.
Mrs. Messina has devoted herself to the city and its residents, working to improve public safety, fighting to get the railroad tracks lowered between Alhambra and San Gabriel, improving recreational facilities, and expanding business and job opportunities all while ensuring a secure tax base and balanced city budget.
Mrs. Messina’s public service is augmented by her on-going volunteer service. She is active on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley and has volunteered on the Board of the Alhambra Educational Foundation. She is a past president of the Alhambra Soroptomist Club as well as a chairman of Citizens for Tax Reform and the city’s Anti Graffiti taskforce, and much more.
For more than 30 years, she has pressed forward for the completion of the 710 gap closure and tunnel construction through the 710 Freeway Coalition by meeting with legislators and city officials, participating in a variety of speaking engagements, signing letters and getting articles published, and participating in television and radio forums.
Guests for the evening included U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, California Assemblymember Ed Chau, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, as well as Mrs. Messina’s fellow City Councilmembers Mayor Jeff Maloney and David Mejia. About 300 people attended the event to thank Mrs. Messina and show their support for her dedicated service.
The most popular segment of the evening was called Mean Tweets before Twitter. Mrs. Messina’s beloved husband, Mike, had kept all of the negative comments about her from newspaper Letters to the Editor. They were read to the audience by Mayor Maloney amid much laughter and memories of earlier times.
The evening ended with a live auction as more money was raised to support Alhambra’s marching band.