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Mayor for a day

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Fighter Wing commander was appointed as Misawa City's "Mayor for a Day" Jan. 12 at Misawa City Hall as a way to promote cultural awareness and increase goodwill.

Misawa City Mayor Shigeyoshi Suzuki who offered the opportunity to Brig. Gen. Sam Angelella, 35th FW commander, also took this time to say thank you for a job well-done during his command.

The workday began when General Angelella and his wife Marci were driven to work at Misawa City Hall in the mayor's private vehicle. Greeted with a crowd of civic leaders, city officials, and media, they hit the ground running.

First on the day's agenda was a short induction ceremony where Mayor Suzuki presented an official letter of appointment to the general. Shortly after taking his seat as mayor for the day, General Angelella reviewed and approved the city's hospital relocation plan.

The expedient decision making of the general left the mayor thinking the general could give him a run for his money as mayor.

"I think you may do so well today, you could try to run against me," Mayor Suzuki joked. "We're happy to have you and your wife here today.

Next on the day's order of events was a tour of the facility for "Mayor" and Mrs. Angelella. They made stops at the education, agriculture, tourism, commerce and industry divisions. They also visited the construction division, planning and citizen's division, general affairs and base affairs. The general also made a stop by assembly hall, where Mayor Suzuki holds quarterly meetings.

Next the mayor for a day and his wife were called to hold a conference attended by senior staff members.

"This is a very important room where many important decisions are made," said Mayor Suzuki as he opened discussions at the round-table. The topic of the conference was the effective management of the American Village.

The American Village is a multi-million dollar project meant to cater to both American and Japanese people looking for food, entertainment and shopping.

One of the most important decisions made at the conference was Mayor Suzuki bestowing the honor of "official goodwill ambassador" to Mrs. Angelella ... a first for any 35th FW commander's spouse.

"I'm so honored," said Mrs. Angelella. "We have many fond memories here at Misawa and this one definitely tops the list for me."

Mayor Suzuki presented her with personalized business cards, a plaque and other mementos as a token of his appreciation for her valuable contributions and her role in the building of positive relations between the base and the city.

"The relationship between Misawa City and Misawa Air Base is phenomenal - the best of the best. Marci and I feel like Misawa is our home and we will always feel that way," said the general.

To conclude the day, Mayor Suzuki expressed his gratitude for the general's leadership of the base and for helping to make the base and city relationship stronger than ever.

"We hope to see you again when you come back with two, three or four stars," said Mayor Suzuki. "We will truly miss you and Marci, and we thank you for your support and friendship."

Having served as the wing commander since August 2005, General Angelella will move to Camp Smith, Hawaii, to become the deputy director of strategic planning and policy at Headquarters Pacific Command.