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Steve Croft named mayor; Ariel Pe named vice mayor in Lakewood City Council reorganization

The Lakewood City Council completed its annual reorganization on April 12, selecting Steve Croft to serve as Lakewood’s mayor from April 12 through the spring of 2023, and naming Ariel Pe as vice mayor for the same time period.

The tradition in Lakewood and many cities of its size is for mayoral duties to rotate annually among the five members of the city council. The mayor has the same vote as any other council member in meetings, but chairs the meetings and serves as the city’s main spokesperson at public events.

This will be the fourth term as mayor for Steve Croft, who was originally elected to the city council in 2005. He is also serving his fourth term as a council member, after being re-elected in 2017. This will be Ariel Pe’s first term as vice mayor. He was elected for the first time in 2020.

The council’s annual reorganization night started with a “Lakewood Celebrates” community gathering where expressions of thanks and appreciation were made to Jeff Wood for his 2021-22 mayoral term. Wood will continue to serve as a council member for the rest of his term, which runs through March 2024.

After being selected as the new mayor, Croft presented remarks to about 100 people gathered in the city council chambers.

Here are excerpts from Mayor Croft’s remarks:

“As I view my term as mayor, I see our city of Lakewood facing a very encouraging period of renewal and reconnecting.

“The signs are very hopeful that we are turning a major corner in our two-year struggle against COVID. That means the opportunity to bring back a lot of traditional Lakewood community events, like the Pan Am Fiesta next month…and the Civic Center Block Party in two months.

“These will be great opportunities for all of us to reconnect with our community…and to re-enjoy some of the best traditions that Lakewood has to offer.

“We are also entering a very positive period in terms of our city finances and having a secure, long-term financial outlook ahead for us in Lakewood. Not many cities can say that these days, but I am very, very glad to say that Lakewood can…both as a council member and as a resident.

“The reason for that long-term financial security is the passage of Measure L…and I want to thank our residents who voted for it.

“And even if you were skeptical and didn’t vote for Measure L, I want you to know that we respect your views…and on the City Council we will always work hard to be good stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to us as your elected representatives. That’s an important and sacred civic responsibility that we all share on the council, and we take it very seriously.

“Lakewood residents are rightly proud of their parks, playgrounds and community buildings, and we now have the financial capability to keep them repaired, renovated and looking good, well into the future.

“We have a busy year ahead, but it will be busy in a good way, as we all do our part in this year of recovery and renewal to continue to make Lakewood a wonderful place in which to live, work and visit. Thank you very much.”

Read Mayor Croft’s full remarks

Lakewood Mayor Steve Croft and Vice Mayor Ariel Pe. Courtesy photo.
Lakewood Mayor Steve Croft and Vice Mayor Ariel Pe. Courtesy photo.
This article was released by the City of Lakewood.