Wei-Tai Kwok is the newest member of the Lafayette City Council, after his new colleagues appointed him Tuesday night in a 3-1 vote, with Mayor Susan Candell dissenting.
Throughout the deliberations, Candell supported planning commissioner Farschad Farzan for the opening, created when former council member Cameron Burks resigned June 29, citing family concerns.
Vice Mayor Teresa Gerringer and council member Gina Dawson supported Kwok during most of the conversation.
Council member Carl Anduri supported longtime planning commissioner Karen Maggio throughout the process, but changed direction when it became apparent Maggio didn’t have the votes.
Kwok, Farzan and Maggio were finalists from an initial field of six, narrowed down after the first round of interviews last week.
Burks resigned more than three years before his term was up. Kwok will hold the seat until the next scheduled council election in 2022, when he can run again.
Kwok is a green energy executive and a self-described climate change activist. He owns Kwok Solar Consulting in Lafayette, which focuses on converting buildings to zero emissions. He has also served as the chief operating officer of Amber Kinetics, an international energy storage company in Union City.
Kwok also has an extensive background in cross cultural communications and advertising. He is a board member of Sustainable Lafayette and has worked on educational programs to help stem anti-Asian violence.
Maggio has the most civic experience of the three candidates, running for council in 2018 and serving multiple stints on the planning commission, which she chaired in 2003 and 2012. Farzan, also a planning commissioner, is a lawyer for Logitech Inc.
It wasn’t the first time Burks tendered a resignation to the council. In 2019, he resigned from his post as Lafayette’s mayor in a surprise move he attributed to having a new job he was balancing with being a father and husband. He stayed on to finish his council term, then successfully ran for re-election in 2020.