It was time for the San Marino Recreation Commission to hold its annual ceremonial reorganization on Monday, but commissioners felt a change wasn’t the right move and for the sake of consistency, the panel unanimously voted to keep Edward Yen as chair for the next year.
Commissioner Stanley Wu proposed the motion to keep the panel’s leadership in place, and his colleagues also agreed to extend Cori Solan’s tenure as vice chair during a meeting held at Crowell Public Library on Sept. 11. A humbled Yen accepted the nomination.
“He has a strong vision, and I also think it’s good to have consistency, especially since this commission has just started to have a chair and a vice chair, if they’re willing to serve again in that position, for at least this next year and see where this whole thing takes us,” Wu said of Chen. “I do think it’s more important to have consistency than to keep shifting chairs.”
The Recreation Commission had been on hiatus for the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was re-formed last year with Roland Tam, Leslie Tsai, Solan, Wu and Yen. The panel meets on the second Monday of each month to discuss San Marino’s needs and desires for recreational services and provides guidance to city staff as well as recommendations to the City Council on local programs and events.
Prior to the nomination process, Yen reflected on the past year and thanked the “talented” city staff for making the commission’s job easier. He also had a few suggestions moving forward.
“We’re still trying to find our legs, trying to figure out what we can talk about, what we can do,” Yen said. “I know in the beginning of the year, I had hoped to create all these opportunities to meet up, but life kind of takes hold of you and you get busy along the way. I think that is still something we should strive for because it’s about community involvement, it’s being able to see each other at Lacy Park and say, ‘Hi,’ or at the library or wherever. We should be striving to figure out ways of making this community a [true] community, which means interacting with each other.”
He also asked San Marino staff to consider recognizing commissioners at local events — not so much for attention but rather to keep them motivated and committed in their roles to helping the city.
“When we have events, the City Council and school board are recognized and honored. Typically, commissioners are not, and I would like to see a little bit of recognition of commissioners,” said Yen. “I don’t think many of my friends even know I’m on the commission, and I have to tell them. I would like to see this not just for our commission, but for every single commission.”
Commissioner Tsai nominated Wu as chair during the meeting, citing that her fellow commissioner is very active in the community and attended many city events. Wu appreciated the sentiment but declined prior to nominating Yen, and Tam agreed that Yen is the “perfect man for the job.”
“I’ve taken leadership roles in a lot of different places, and I value the voices of everyone,” Yen said after accepting the role. “So hearing what Commissioner Wu said, I thank you for your comments. Reflecting back and trying to make sure that we have consistency, I will accept to carry on as chair.”
First published in the Sept. 14 issue of the San Marino Tribune