Van is new councilwoman-in-waiting

(HONG) ALYCE VAN was chosen as the fifth member of the Stanton City Council Tuesday night, but won’t be sworn in until May (The Tribune photo).

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.

The new councilwoman-to-be – who uses Alyce as her first name – is a current member of the city planning commission and has served with the Stanton Community Foundation.

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.

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