LAFAYETTE – The city council has appointed Wae-Tae Kwok to fill a vacancy created by Cameron Burke’s resignation in June.
The council elected Kwok by a 3–1 vote in a special meeting. He was administered the oath at the end of the online meeting.
Kwok will serve until the next scheduled council election in November 2022. After that he will have the option to run for the seat.
Kwok was one of three finalists who were interviewed by the council during an open session that lasted about six hours.
“I don’t have all the answers,” Kwok, 57, told the council at their meeting on Tuesday. “But I promise that I will be a good listener, and will be considerate and cooperative in my efforts and practical. And so I will try to offer my help to the city at this time.”
Wei-Tai Kwok is the owner of Kwok Solar Consulting in Lafayette, which specializes in converting buildings to zero emissions. He has also been the Chief Operating Officer of Amber Kinetics, an energy company in Union City.
A 19-year-old resident of Lafayette, Kwok currently serves on the city’s environmental task force and is a member of its Community Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.
Kwok is also the past president of Sustainable Lafayette, a grassroots nonprofit focused on creating a healthy sustainable future.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University.
According to his application for the council seat, Kwok said he would like to see Lafayette as a zero-carbon city by 2040.
“Fortunately, our decisions on general planning, the housing element, and the city’s willingness to act boldly on equity and inclusion create a golden opportunity to simultaneously address multiple problems that can meaningfully address the climate crisis and environmental justice. can,” he said in the application.
“I think he does and will support the views of residents,” Vice Mayor Teresa Geringer said ahead of the vote to select Kwok. “That’s what we’ve been elected to do. But I think he will also take that thinking (forward).”
The other finalists for the council seat were Planning Commissioner Karen Maggio and Farshad Farzan.
Mayor Susan Candel cast a single vote against Kwok’s appointment, instead supporting Farzan for the vacant seat.
Geringer and councilwoman Gina Dawson supported Kwok, while councilman Carl Anduri initially supported Maggio, but later opted to back Kwok.