It’s accustomed each year for the outgoing mayor of South Pasadena to receive a gift from fellow councilmembers.
Bucking the trend this time around is former mayor Dr. Richard Schneider, who is turning away the usual gift in lieu of a tree planting Thursday, January 24, at 4 p.m. in his honor.
The event originally was slated for January 17, but rain postponed it.
Dr. Schneider selected an Engelmann Oak to be planted in the northeast corner of Library Park near the corner of El Centro Street and Fairview Avenue. He will join City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe making some brief remarks during the ceremony.
A gift can vanish over time and flowers wilt away, so Schneider likes the idea of a tree planting because of its lasting impact on the community.
The idea won’t end with Schneider. Future outgoing mayors serving one-year terms will have the same opportunity to select a place in the city where a tree, accompanied by a plaque, will be planted in their honor.
Following the ceremony, a second celebration will be conducted for the “Library Tree” – the gigantic Moreton Bay Fig on the west side of the South Pasadena Library.
Comments will be made by Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian, Mark Gallatin, chair of the Cultural Heritage Commission; Steven Lawrence, president of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation; David Uwins, president of the Library Board of Trustees; Bill Kloezeman, son of Willem Kloezeman, who planted the tree 80 years ago, and Poet Laureate Ron Koetge, who will read a poem.
In addition, singer Goh Kurosawa will perform at the conclusion of the event and artist Pete Morris will create a painting of the Library Tree during the event. His artwork can be found inside the library entryway.