BRAWLEY – Brawley Council Member Sam Couchman was sworn in as the city’s new mayor soon after being elected with a 5-0 unanimous vote at the council’s reorganization meeting held Thursday evening at the Brawley Public Library where Imperial County and state officials witnessed the proceedings.
Councilwoman Helen Noriega was elected as mayor pro tem.
“I love this city and it is an extreme honor for me to be the mayor of Brawley,” said Couchman. “I want to thank my fellow council members. Without them, we could not do this. Everybody backs everybody up, and without their assistance this job (mayor) cannot be done.”
“We, the members of the council, take our responsibilities very seriously and continue to strive and keep Brawley moving forward in our future endeavors while preserving the best things from the past,” Couchman said.
Couchman also thanked his wife and children for their support as well as the residents of Brawley. He said he is happy to be a part of the tight and close community of Brawley.
“My parents came here in the late 1930s, and they would truly be proud that one of their children is now serving as the mayor in the town that they called home,” said Couchman.
Fellow Councilman George Nava said Couchman is well-equipped to do the job with his prior experience serving as Brawley mayor in 2013.
“This is definitely going to be a fantastic year for all of us with all of the excitement that is coming in 2017, and I look forward to being a part of that in city council, and I think everybody here should be excited as well,” said Nava.
Couchman received the gavel from outgoing Mayor Donnie Wharton, and will serve as mayor for this coming year.
“It has truly been an honor for me to serve as mayor for the city of Brawley this past year,” said Wharton. “For a lot of us, this is a devotion and dedication of time to give back to our community. I can certainly say I couldn’t do what I do and give back to the various organizations if it weren’t for the tremendous support that I get from my council members, and I certainly feel blessed by my family. This has been an extraordinary experience for me. We accomplished quite a bit this past year, and with that, we have pulled together and will continue to work together as a council to make the best possible decisions for all of the citizens here in Brawley.”
Wharton went on to say he will stand behind the newly elected mayor and mayor pro tem to continue the work that has already begun.
“We are citizens just like everybody else and having the opportunity to be elected the privilege to serve in this capacity is not an ordainment, it’s a vote of confidence,” said Wharton. “I am truly humbled by the citizens in this community, and that is why we are so great.”
Wharton was presented with numerous recognitions for his contributions to the community from the offices of Congressman Juan Vargas, Senator Ben Hueso and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia.