The Claremont City Council unanimously selected Linda Elderkin as the city’s new mayor on Mar. 9.
Elderkin has served as Associate Dean of Students at Pitzer College and both Dean of Campus Life and Associate Dean of Students at Pomona College. Her husband Rick is a math professor at Pomona.
Elderkin will replace outgoing mayor Corey Calaycay. In Claremont, the mayor is selected from the City Council by its five members.Elderkin said she will focus on leading the city through its budget problems.
According to Elderkin, Claremont has already undergone two rounds of budget cuts in which the city trimmed roughly $3 million in expenditures by cutting roughly 15 percent of its full-time staff. Elderkin said the city will soon have to go through a third round of cuts in which it will likely need to cut 10 percent of its working budget, or $2 million, over the next year and an additional $1 million the following year. However, the budget will not be approved until June, and the city’s financial situation may have changed by that time.
“My major goal is to make sure that we work very hard to preserve and protect the Claremont that we all love in the face of these ongoing and extensive budget cuts,” Elderkin said. “One point that is critical to me is that people understand the depth in the cuts we are going to have to make and the essential need to keep the community intact.”
During this round of cuts, Elderkin expects to have to make further staff reductions and eliminate some important programs. Elderkin said she thinks it is important that Claremont continue to maintain its parks and trees, take care of its youth and senior programs, and properly fund its police department despite the budget cuts.
While Elderkin said the city’s budget has been hampered in part by reductions in sales tax revenues and a lack of building projects, she added that Claremont, along with the other 480 cities and towns in California, has been suffering from recent