EL CENTRO — The Imperial County Board of Supervisors broke in the new year at their first 2020 meeting Tuesday, January 7, by announcing the new chairman and vice chairman of the board. Outgoing Chairman Ryan Kelley passed the gavel to the new chairman Supervisor Luis Plancarte and welcomed Supervisor Michael Kelley as the new vice chair.
“As I hand the gavel to Mr. Plancarte, I would like to say that 2019 was probably the most stressful year of my life. There are a lot of challenges in this County. Hopefully we’re in a better position than when we started here … Wherever there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity,” said Kelley.
Supervisor Kelley received many warm wishes as he passed the gavel along with the chairmanship responsibilities to Plancarte. As a thank you for Kelley’s past year of hard work, the board presented him with an album of memorable milestones, reflecting on the last year.
Kelley laughingly asked if some of the more stressful events were represented in the album. He joked about the stresses brought by 2019, and gratefully passed chairman duties to Plancarte.
Supervisor Jesus Escobar thanked Kelley for demonstrating great leadership skills during Escobar’s first year as supervisor.
“Your leadership skill when it comes to tackling these issues and what you demonstrate to the public — and to us — is a very calm demeanor. No matter what the issue or the problem is, you always deliver the punch in a very, very calm and subtle way, which really is true leadership,” said Escobar.
Supervisor Michael Kelley commended Ryan Kelley on his job well done and congratulated Plancarte on his new position.
“Ryan, it was a pleasure serving under you as chairman. You did an outstanding job. We went through some troubling times and you maintained your leadership roles and abilities to make sure we successfully navigated through each and every one of them. I’m very proud of you,” said Michael Kelley. “Luis, I’m looking very forward to working under your leadership. This will be the first time you will be the chair of the County Board of Supervisors, but your profile and demeanor has indicated to me that you are properly prepared and ready to take the reins and go forward.”
Ryan Kelley also received certificates of recognition from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Senator Ben Hueso, and Congressman Juan Vargas.
“As a county as a whole, we may not be the richest county in the state, but I think we are the greatest county in the state,” said Michael Kelley.