Altamirano to Fill Vacant Commerce Council Seat

By Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou, EGP Staff Writer

The Commerce City Council appointed a planning commissioner and businessman Tuesday night to take over the un-expired seat of former councilman Robert Fierro who resigned last month.

Ivan Altamirano was among a group of five finalists narrowed down from a field of 22 applicants who were interviewed for the seat at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Altamirano Ocupará el Asiento Vacante en el Concejo de Commerce

He was sworn in following his appointment by the city council on a three to one vote, with Councilwoman Denise Robles casting the dissenting vote.

The 38-year old resident of Commerce, Altamirano has been on the planning commission since 2005; serves as a speaker, coach and author for the Les Brown Platinum Speakers Network, and is on the board of Atlantic Health Services.

Altamirano writes in his application that he is a “successful business owner” who will “have the time to invest on behalf of our City to take ownership and use our imagination to create revenue.”

Altamirano will be finishing Fierro’s term ending in March 2013. He went straight into a closed session meeting Tuesday night following his appointment and swearing-in.

The public will have an opportunity to attend a March 20 ceremonial swearing-in to be held along with the city council’s annual reorganization.

The entire interviewing and appointment process on Tuesday occurred in a two hour time span during which each of the 22 original candidates were asked one question by the mayor about what “city leaders should consider as they guide Commerce in the next few years.” Each candidate was given 60 seconds to answer.

Councilmembers then submitted their top two candidates to the city clerk, who tallied them to come up with a list of finalists.

The five candidates in the final round were asked a question by each council member, including how much time they think they will devote to being a councilmember; what they feel the business community contributes to the city; whether they see themselves as a leader, manager or politician; and how they would handle budget shortfalls. Each finalist had 90 seconds to answer each of these questions.

A motion by Councilwoman Lela Leon to appoint Jonathan Garza, who also sits on the planning commission, failed. Councilwoman Tina Baca Del Rio nominated Altamirano, she was seconded by Leon, and the council voted to appoint him.

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March 15, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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