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Stories from the valley

The Millennial Mayor

Contributed by Jim Morris

One way you can tell Aleksandar Tica is outgoing is the jovial way he handled a recent State Capitol trip. Tica, who at age 26 is the youngest mayor in Sutter County history, walked the halls and introduced himself to strangers as a touring high school student.

Frivolity aside, the new mayor of Live Oak has great hopes for the Sacramento Valley. His backstory is straight from the script of the fabric of our state – a winning combination of ambition, optimism and strength through diversity.

His father, Milan, emigrated from the former Yugoslavia and 1971. Working at a local farm, he met and married his wife, Betty, who emigrated from Mexico in 1963. The family settled in Live Oak, grow prunes and walnuts and own Betty’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant.

Aleksandar works full time at the restaurant, with Wednesdays reserved for City Council duties.

This graduate of Live Oak High School, Butte College and Chico State University has prospered in different environments, including working on the family farm, along the Sacramento River and for the Center for Economic Development in Chico.

His advice to millennials? “Be assertive. Know you have a voice, educate yourself and have the courage to take the step.”

What does he appreciate most about Live Oak? “It’s the people. The diverse backgrounds here. It’s great that you have generations of family members who have stayed here. These are great people that care about this area, this land and their neighbors.”

What one thing would he want to do to improve our economy? He wants to encourage use of everything harvested from area farms, opening up alternative markets that provide steadier income to bolster the ups and downs well-known by those in agriculture.

Aleksandar hopes his political career is only beginning. He certainly has support from his parents. As his dad Milan remarked, “It’s unbelievable, but here we are!”