The Stanton City Council has a new member, but she won’t take her seat just yet.
Hong Alyce Van was unanimously chosen Tuesday night to fill a vacancy on the council, but won’t be officially sworn in until the next meeting on May 14.
Van was the choice of a council subcommittee selected to find a replacement for Al Ethans, who resigned his post in February, but still had to stand Tuesday for questioning by council members before they voted.
A resident of Stanton since she was 2, Van holds a B.A. degree in anthropology from Yale University and a M.A in international studies from Johns Hopkins.
“More than all my ‘fancy’ degrees,” said Van, “I feel I have the pulse of my community.”
Also on Tuesday night, the council voted 4-0 to approve spending nearly $5 million toward paying down the city’s unfunded liability pension obligations.
The city expected to save $2.9 million in reduced interest and see $600,000 in cash flow freed up. By using a portion of that improved cash flow, the city could make annual payments of $90,000 over 15 years to save an additional $1.7 million over that period.
Some of pension liabilities date back to when Stanton had its own police and fire departments.