It's been a whirlwind of a first year for Aleksandr Tica, to say the least.

After being elected to the Live Oak City Council in November 2016, Tica took his council seat in January 2017 and was promptly elected vice mayor. That post typically leads to being elected mayor by the council, and this year followed that pattern as well.

Tica was elected mayor by the council at its early December meeting.

Now it's time to get to work, and there's much work to do.

A myriad of contentious issues face Live Oak in 2018, among them the adoption of an ordinance to regulate marijuana in the city after it became legal statewide January 1.

With the help of his fellow council members and the Live Oak community, Tica is ready to roll.

The past year has been good preparation for the mayor's job, Tica said.

And it will often require substantial time off work.

Tica helps his family run Betty's Mexican restaurant on State Route 99 in Live Oak.

He doesn't expect getting the necessary time off to be an issue.

"It'll just take a phone call," Tica said with a smile.

Tica has been working from a young age. Getting to know the customers, and their concerns about the community, led to Tica's desire to get involved.

And that, after high school at Live Oak High School and college at Butte College and Chico State University, eventually led to politics.

He hopes to be an example to other Live Oak youth, and create policies that will create the jobs and opportunity that will spur those kids to return home - or stay home - after college.

Tica said he expects to get a lot of help and support from both his family members, fellow council members and the community as he finds his way in his new job and helps to guide the city through some tough times ahead.

He has a wealth of experience - and if the last Live Oak City Council meeting is any indication, a watchful eye - a few seats to his right on the council dais: Former mayor Diane Hodges, who was elected vice mayor.

Hodges has been mayor twice before and has served on the council since 2005.

Two pressing issues that will have to be tackled early in Tica's tenure are the adoption of an ordinance to regulate the growth and sale of marijuana in the wake of legalization on January 1, and an anticipated hike in water and sewer rates.

Tica said he'll always strive to listen to both sides of an issue and respect all sides.

The marijuana issue has been especially contentious, and that isn't going to change any time soon, Tica said.

'We can't close off Live Oak," Tica said.