Raising his right hand and standing next to his daughter, Richard Garbarino took the oath of office as mayor of South San Francisco at the annual city council reorganization Monday night.
"I look forward to a great year and working with each and every one of you," Garbarino said to fellow council members and the assembled audience of local residents, elected officials and city workers.
Garbarino is replacing Kevin Mullin as mayor as part of the city council's annual rotation of offices. Garbarino and Mullin were reelected to the city council for four-year terms in November. Garbarino, who has served on the city council since 2002, has held the office of mayor once before.
Pedro Gonzalez was sworn in as vice mayor, replacing Garbarino, who held that office in 2011.
In remarks to the audience, Garbarino said that over the next year, the city will continue green initatives, such as moving forward on the climate action plan and pedestrian action plan and placing solar panels on city buildings.
The city will also work to retain and attract business and continue to build safe neighborhoods and fight crime, Garbarino said.
"I have every confidence that we will continue to build on our previous success and move forward," Garbarino said.
City council members applauded Kevin Mullin for his service while acknowledging that it had been a difficult year for the city.
"When you receive that call in the evening or early in the morning that young people have died on your street, you feel very much alone," said Councilmember Mark Addiego, in reference to the four young men who died in gun violence in the past year.
In response to the violence, the city increased police presence in Old Town, creating a neighborhood response team and a police substation. The city also provided seed money for a Community Coalition on Safe Neighborhoods.
Garbarino asked Mullin and Gonzalez to continue to serve on the coalition and said he too will participate in the coalition's work.
"We are expecting an excellent year under your leadership, and we stand to support you as you take the gavel this evening," Mullin said.