CALEXICO — With a vow of determination to keep the city of Calexico moving forward with respect and professionalism, Councilman Armando Real was voted in as the city’s new mayor with a unanimous vote 5-0 at the council’s reorganization ceremony held Wednesday evening at the Nene Torres Auditorium with county, state and residents present.
“Community, fellow council members it’s time to turn the page,” said Real. “It’s time to turn the page of the history that Calexico has had in the last few years. I vow to my fellow council members and to the community as a whole that we will come together and give you the council that you deserve. We need to work together because we have tough times ahead of us. We need to come together and accept each other. We are not up here to be best friends or soul mates, we are here to work for our community and we need to put the community first. We need to look out for the 40,000 residents and bring Calexico back to its glory days like in the ’70s and ’80s when business was booming.”
Real went on to say the city slowly has driven away commerce and they must now work on attracting small and large businesses back into the city to create revenue.
“It’s time we roll out the red carpet and bring in big business, small business, any business to create tax money so that we don’t have to be in compromising positions to have to look at possible pay cuts that are affecting our employees,” said Real.
The city also welcomed three newly elected city councilmen Lewis Pacheco, Jesus Eduardo Escobar and Bill Hodge as they were sworn in by Imperial County Superior Court Judge Poli Flores.
Pacheco began with a paraphrase of the quote by the late President John F. Kennedy.
“Americans, ask not what your city can do for you, ask what you can do for your city,” Pacheco said. “If we begin there, we will have an excellent start to mend our community.”
Escobar said his love for the city of Calexico is what prompted him to run. He said he was appreciative of the enormous support he received from the community.
Hodge promised he will work 110 percent for the community since he is retired and can devote his time fully.
“I feel confident that this council will work well to resolve the current issues and look forward to serving my community,” said Hodge.
Also during Wednesday’s ceremony, Council member Maritza Hurtada was elected as mayor pro-tem.
“In the past, we had a learning experience that showed us what we don’t want to repeat,” said Hurtado. “I myself don’t want to repeat the past. We learned a lot and are ready for more positive experiences and especially for solutions for this community. I know that with this newly-elected council we will be able to dialogue and make the right decision. I am confident that we elected the right people.”
Outgoing council members John Moreno, Kim S. Joong and Luis Castro thanked the community and city staff for their support and agreed the new council members with their past knowledge were the correct candidates stabilize the city and revamp business.
Outgoing Mayor Luis Castro said serving on the council for the past eight years was an honor and thanked the community for their trust and support.
Castro was presented with numerous recognitions for his contributions to the community from the offices of Congressman Juan Vargas, Sen. Ben Hueso and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia.