EL CENTRO — The El Centro City Council selected Alex Cardenas, by a unanimous 5-0 vote, as the next city mayor, effective immediately, during the city’s reorganization meeting attended by supporters who filled the El Centro chamber to capacity Thursday evening.
Those present broke into loud applause for the new city mayor who graciously accepted the nomination.
“I’m very humbled and honored to take the position,” Mayor Cardenas responded to the city council.
And as soon as Cardenas accepted his new position, he opened up nomination for the position of mayor pro-tem. Cheryl Viegas-Walker was nominated, and by a 5-0 unanimous vote, selected mayor pro-tem.
As is customary, Deputy City Manager Marcela Piedra presented outgoing Mayor Jason Jackson with an “Album of Events,” a compilation of major events, projects, infrastructure and economic development that took place during his term as a mayor of El Centro.
Piedra highlighted one accomplishment championed by Jackson, the Veterans Memorial at Bucklin Park, which broke ground in September.
“It is an excellent addition to our Bucklin Park. We appreciate your leadership,” Piedra said.
As outgoing mayor, Jackson correspondingly passed the gavel to the incoming Cardenas. Jackson said, “I’m extremely happy to pass the gavel to our new mayor. Thank you for the honor of serving you as your mayor.”
Jackson received accolades, comments, and certificates from office representatives of Congressman Juan Vargas-51st District, Senator Ben Hueso-40th District, and Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia. Additional comments were made by MAG Coalition president and founder Yulil Alonso-Garza, a representative from the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, a veteran who was grateful for the Veterans Memorial, and from the El Centro City Council members.
In an interview by this newspaper right after the city council reorganization Thursday evening, incoming Mayor Alex Cardenas commented on his nomination and of the responsibilities awaiting him for the coming year ahead.
“This new office is just incredible,” said Cardenas. “So much work was done by our previous mayors the last three years.They laid down all the infrastructure for our city and it’s really now my turn to make sure that we move forward with the groundbreaking and follow up on our new construction projects.”
Cardenas added, “It is very exciting to serve as mayor in a community that I was born, raised, and educated in. So it is an opportunity for me to give back to the community. And I’m humbled and privileged to be able to do that.”
A celebration followed after the reorganization meeting. Family members, local government officials, businessmen and guests were invited to a snack buffet right outside of the El Centro City Council chambers.