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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Austin HornbostelOutgoing California mayor Norris Gerhart presents outgoing Ward 1 Alderman Ron Baker with a certificate of appreciation for his six years of service on the board of aldermen.

California citizens officially have their first new mayor in two decades following a special session of the city's board of aldermen Monday, when results from last Tuesday's election were certified.

Rich Green emerged the victor in the municipal election, accruing 633 of the 740 votes cast by California residents for the position, good for more than 85 percent of the vote. Challenger Aaron Bishop followed with roughly 14 percent of the vote, or 105 votes. Three individuals voted for write-ins on their ballots.

Green will take on the role occupied by outgoing mayor Norris Gerhart, who presided over the first part of Monday's meeting.

Before California's mayor of 20 years took his leave, Green presented Gerhart with a key to the city.

"When you give up your chair on the council, you're not always able to give it up to the best fit or what you think is the best fit," Gerhart said Monday. "But when Rich did sign up to run for mayor, I knew in my heart that our city was in good hands."

Also sworn in on Monday were incumbent Ward 2 Alderman Darryl Elliott, incumbent Ward 3 Alderman Lanny Ash and newcomer Steven Earl Hickman, representing Ward 1; all three candidates ran unopposed. Hickman will replace Ron Baker, who served on the board of aldermen for six years and was honored for his service at Monday's meeting.

Green's first action as mayor was to preside of the approval of a pair of agenda items and ordinances. The board approved the Oak Street Farmer's Market's "Ready, Set, Grow!" 5K, set to take place May 8, and passed an ordinance closing Dahler Street to through traffic on that date.

The board also approved an ordinance officially annexing property owned by Drinkard Construction, as representatives with the business had previously requested, and approved the Moniteau County Collector's 2020 delinquent tax list for California citizens.

Green will preside over his first regular meeting of the board of aldermen at 7 p.m. May 3.

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