Supervisors Pledge to Fight for Imperial County as ‘Renewable Energy Capital’

(L-R) Connie Valenzuela swore in Supervisor’s Michael Kelley, Ryan Kelley and newly elected Luis Plancarte during a special meeting Tuesday morning.

EL CENTRO – After a swearing-in ceremony, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors conducted its annual reorganization Tuesday morning during a special board meeting, electing District 3 Supervisor Michael Kelley as its chairman and District 5 Supervisor Raymond Castillo as vice-chairman. The board also welcomed District 2 Supervisor Luis Plancarte as a new member. The supervisors also spoke about their goals and commitments relating to the future of Imperial County.

Michael Kelley replaces District 2 Supervisor Jesus “Jack” Terrazas who served as Chairman for 2016 and officially retired January 2. Michael Kelley also took oath for his third term serving on the board.

“It will be an honor to lead this board into the future of 2017,” said Michael Kelley. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and will be working very hard for the future of Imperial County. It’s a tremendous obligation but also a tremendous honor to represent California on a County and State wide in a Federal basis. We work very hard to make sure that Imperial County is kept on the map. We have a mission and that mission is you. It is an honor and I will do my best to represent you.”

Michael Kelley said he plans to work diligently along with the board on important issues, including mitigating the dangers of the Salton Sea, the construction of the new Calexico Port of Entry, and renewable energy projects.

“Imperial County been labeled as the Renewable Capital of the United States,” said Michael Kelley. “We have the largest known geothermal resource area in the nation if not the world and we will fight very hard for that. We are on the verge of seeing some very important things coming with the extraction of lithium, potash, and manganese.”

Michael Kelley stated the county will continue to work hard on job creations while working closely with residents, and State and Federal agencies on road repair issues. Kelley hopes to work closely with the Farm Bureau Colab while staying transparent.

“We are open-minded, have open arms, we have nothing to hide, have everything to share, we are all in this battle together and the battle is to promote Imperial County and its residents,” said Michael Kelley. “We have a lot of issues to deal with in this upcoming year and I look forward to working with this board who is very intelligent and very talented. The County of Imperial is very fortunate to have the board that they have today.”

In addition, District 4 Supervisor Ryan Kelley took the oath for his second term, as did newly-elected Luis Plancarte.

Ryan Kelley, who represents the Northern part of the County, said, “I am honored to return to another term to represent my district and the County of Imperial.”

Incoming Luis Plancarte said he was humbled by the support received during the election and those who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“The confidence that has been placed on me to follow Supervisors Terrazas’ footprints is quite humbling,” said Plancarte. “I look forward to serving on the board along with the rest of the board members. In brief conversations with each one of them, it’s very interesting to see how like-minded we are in goals and the thoughts we have towards this community to creating a better environment and creating a better way of life for our children and all those people who will come after us. I will do my very, very best to give you the same quality of service and representation that Mr. Terrazas has done.”

District 5 Supervisor Raymond Castillo said it was time for the “winds of change.”

“I wish things could stay the same but they can’t,” said Castillo. “There has to be change. We have a good team going forward and a lot of possibilities and I know we will work well together.”

District 1 Supervisor John Renison reflected on the past six years and said was pleased and gratified to have worked with the member of the board.

“I cannot tell you how pleased and gratified it is to work with individuals that not necessarily think alike but are on the same page and respect each other, and each other’s decisions” said Renison. “I know this board will work together for the betterment of the entire Imperial Valley.

Outgoing Chairman Jesus “Jack” Terrazas began by thanking the staff for their hard work and dedication and said their work ethic was admirable.

“I want to thank my fellow board members for their confidence, faith and their ability to work through issues and with issues amongst each other,” said Terrazas.

“I think that is a real admirable quality to see a board that gets along. They might not always see eye to eye, but they make a decision and manage to move on. Knowing Mr. Plancarte from many years back, he’ll probably be one that works and likes to get along and doesn’t necessarily care for the controversy that may come up because of indecisions or lack of the majority decisions. The example is set by the employees, staff, and department heads whether they are elected or appointed.”

“Right now, it’s time with out with the old and in with the new,” said Terrazas.