The San Carlos City Council appointed Omar Ahmad to be the new mayor and Andy Klein as the new vice-mayor with a 4-1 vote.
The decision also means the end of Randy Royce's year-long term as mayor, a term that has seen the outsourcing of the city's police force among other city departments in efforts to close the budget deficit.
"I appreciate your confidence in me," said Ahmad as he took Royce's seat in the middle of the council in front of a crowded city hall chambers. "Leadership starts with heart and no one has more heart than Randy. He has put everything into this job. It has been awesome to watch you. I thank you for everything that you've done. We owe you a debt."
In his last speech as mayor, Royce came prepared with some tools from his garage. Using wire cutters, a rake, a shovel, and a torch, Royce – a handyman who builds his own furniture - said the tools symbolized the tools needed to do the job of mayor.
"There are certain tools you need to get things done," he said. The wire-cutters represented cutting costs; the torch symbolized fighting fire with fire. "You learn on council you're only one of five. It's a really a job of working with the public. It's really about recognizing opportunities and getting things done."
Not everything we do will be right," said Royce. "I'd rather do 4 things right and 1 thing wrong than not do anything. We are people and we will make errors."
Before the appointments were made, Council member Matt Grocott, the one no vote, attempted to nominate former mayor and current council member Bob Grassili because "he's the one person I've seen operate before."
Grassili turned down the nomination and nominated Ahmad and Klein. "For Mr. Ahamd and Mr. Klein, when you get into this position it can be somewhat daunting," said Grassili, looking at the two new appointees. "We're all here to help you."
With his appointment to vice-mayor, Klein is prepped to become one of the youngest mayors in the city's history.
"Omar and I have spent a great deal of time together," said Klein regarding his appointment and working next to Ahmad. Turning to Ahmad he said, "You are incredibly quirky. You are incredibly knowledgeable. You have an ability to handle some of these broad scope pictures."
The night was capped off with coffee and desserts in the lobby, as photos were taken and congratulations were offered to Ahmad and Klein. Peet's Coffee and See's candy were enjoyed by residents and city staff.
"We have a hard year ahead, and I'm going to need everybody's help," said Ahmad. "And I'm looking forward to it."