Nearly 800 were present at the meeting held in Bagramian Hall at the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral.
“Today is a historic day,” said Araksya Karapetyan, a Fox 11 news anchor. “I’m so proud as an Armenian to be standing before you. This is not just a big day. It’s an important day for all Armenians living in America.”
Hadjinian, who was elected to the Montebello City Council in 2011, succeeded Bill Molinari as mayor. Councilman Art Barajas was elected mayor pro tem.
Councilwoman Vivian Romero called the evening special.
“It was truly a historic moment,” Romero said. “Here we are in 2014 and we’ve never had a Armenian mayor,” Romero said. “It also is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. That makes it even more special.”
Many public officials from Southern California attended the meeting, including Sheriff-elect Jim McDonnell who swore in Hadjinian as mayor, and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian.
“It’s a great moment for you and your family and a great moment for Armenian-Americans everywhere,” Krekorian said.
Also present was Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, who is prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. He delivered the invocation at the meeting.
Hadjinian said he was “humbled and grateful” to be named mayor.
“As a native resident of Montebello whose roots go back three generations, my love and commitment to the growth and prosperity of Montebello has grown even deeper,” he said.
“My inspiration comes from my family,” he said. “It was in this city that my grandfather and uncles all purchased their first homes to experience the American dream.”
As mayor, Hadjinian said he wants the council to get along.
“We don’t always agree on the issues, but we can agree that we are passionate about the good will of the city,” he said. “Next year will require some tough decisions to be made. We must work together for benefit of the city.”
The council in the next year is expected to decide on a proposed housing development in the Montebello hills, as well as how to provide relief for blockages caused by trains on four streets in south Montebello.