CALEXICO – Councilman Luis Castro was appointed by a 4-0 vote to serve as mayor for a one-year term, while Councilman Armando Real was appointed as Mayor Pro-Tem during Calexico’s council meeting Tuesday. Councilwoman Maritza Hurtado was not present during the meeting.
In his comments, Castro acknowledged the numerous challenges the city is currently facing and promised to continue to move the city forward.
“I want to thank the city council for having the confidence in me to be the mayor of Calexico for this coming year,” said Castro. “This coming year will be a challenge in light of the current financial situation the city is in, but I am confident that I, along with my council members, can continue to move this city forward. I have always fought for the well-being of this community and will continue to do so in my role as mayor.”
Castro said that by working together, both city administration and employees, the city will overcome the financial deficit it currently faces.
“We need to work together to close the deficit gap of the city’s general fund for this coming year,” Castro said. “Those strategies will involve making adjustments on how we make expenses and asking our city employees to assist the city in these difficult times.”
Additionally, Castro said one of his main goals as mayor is to create revenue and local employment opportunities.
“As a mayor for this coming year, my intention is to work very hard with administration to increase the city’s effort to create more revenue and jobs for our residents,” said Castro.
Mayor Pro-Tem Armando Real said he hopes all five council members can work well together and set aside personal differences for the benefit of the city.
“I think we are in the up and up,” said Real. “We have a new mayor, a new city manager and things are definitely looking up. We now know where we are financially and I know things will be great again.”
Councilman John Moreno said even though the council might have their differences, it is never anything personal.
“We had some tough times and have tough times ahead, but I want you to know that we’ve had differences but we leave our differences right here on the dais,” said Moreno. “We don’t take it personal, it’s all business. I believe in Mr. Castro and Mr. Real and hope that we work in good faith with the… employees and the administration. That we fix our deficit so that the services you are entitled to as citizens of Calexico continue.”
Outgoing Mayor Joong S. Kim congratulated both Castro and Real for their appointments, but said he was disappointed to leave them in a hardship.
“Actions speak more than words,” said Kim. “Last year we were in turmoil, we changed our city manager two times and tried to fix the city as much as we could. If I wasn’t the mayor, we would not have real (financial) numbers. Our story is sad and one of the sad things is the deficit we are in because of inactive council decisions. I am sad to leave this hardship to Mr. Castro, to save the city and our employees because they rely on their payroll. I can’t say good things except that we are going to try to fix the problem.”