LAKEWOOD - Ron Piazza, owner of the historic McDonald's in Downey, has been appointed to the Lakewood City Council to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime council member Larry Van Nostran, who died Nov. 9.Piazza was appointed Dec. 27 and will be publicly sworn-in Jan. 22. He will finish the remainder of Van Nostran's term, which runs through March 2015. Piazza was one of 20 candidates to apply for the council seat. Piazza grew up in Lakewood, moving to the city in 1959 at the age of 8. He is a partner and franchise owner of McDonald's restaurants in Downey, Lakewood and other cities, and is a longtime leader in the McDonald's Operators Association of Southern California, which oversees advertising and public relations for all 680 McDonald's in the region. He has been an active resident and civic leader in Lakewood for many decades, and has been closely involved in numerous Lakewood community events, including the Youth Sports Hall of Fame, Concerts in the Park and Pan American Fiesta. He also chaired the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California for six years, and spearheaded fundraising for the successful effort to build the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. "I am delighted to have Ron join the city council," said Mayor Diane DuBois. "He has given so much to Lakewood and knows our community extremely well. I think he will be a great addition to our city government and help us to maintain the quality service we provide residents and guide Lakewood into the future. "I continue to be impressed by the quantity and the quality of the council applications we received, both from long-time civic leaders and average residents who want to serve their community," DuBois added. "The full range of applications was really heart-warming to me, and it showed that Lakewood is full of smart, caring residents who are ready to serve their city. We were fortunate to have so many great residents from whom to choose for this council vacancy." Lakewood officials estimate the city saved up to $100,000 by appointing a council member and avoiding a special election. Van Nostran died suddenly in November after more than three decades on the city council. First elected in 1975, he was the longest-serving councilman in Lakewood's history.
********** Published: January 3, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 38