Both incumbents and newly elected city officials from the cities of Montebello and Bell Gardens were sworn in last week after results from the November 5 election were made official.
On Thursday, the Montebello Unified School District will swear in two new boardmembers and say goodbye to a long time member who lost the seat she has held since 2001.
Hundreds of people were at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello Dec. 5 to witness the swearing in of incumbents William M. Molinari and Art Barajas, and first time councilwoman, Vivian Romero, who was elected to fill the seat left vacant by Frank Gomez who opted out of running for another term.
The three will serve alongside council members Jack Hadjinian and Christina Cortez. Their term of office is 4 years.
After being sworn in, Barajas spoke about the $4 million deficit the city faced when he first took office four years ago. Today, he said, the city has $7 million in reserves.
“In the next four years I plan on doubling those numbers for the city of Montebello,” he said.
Romero told the audience that she loves her hometown and wants “to do the best thing possible for this community’ and to help it progress “and move it forward with my [fellow] council members,” adding, “Its going to take unity.”
The council’s first order of business was to appoint Molinari mayor and Jack Hadjinian as mayor pro tem.
“I have had the honor of serving as mayor for a number of years but nevertheless it’s still a humbling experience,” Molinari said. “I can truly say I have lived the American dream.”
Last Thursday, the City of Bell Gardens also conducted a swearing-in ceremony for two city council incumbents and one newcomer. Mayor Daniel Crespo and Mayor Pro Tem Priscilla Flores were sworn in to serve another four years. Crespo is the longest standing member of the council. Jose Mendoza, who beat out the incumbent, Sergio Infanzon who was originally appointed to the council and elected to one term, was also sworn in at the ceremony.
Friends, families and others were on hand for the event that also included the annual reorganization of the city council. The council, however, opted to allow Crespo and Flores to continue to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem respectively. Pedro Aceituno and Jennifer Rodriguez are the other two members of the council.
Long time Montebello Unified School District Board Member Gerri Guzman will say good-bye Thursday after serving 12 years on the School Board. Political newcomer Lani Cupchoy, who helped open sustainable gardens at several MUSD schools and was supported by the teachers’ union, unseated Guzman.
Edgar Cisneros, a district director for Supervisor Gloria Molina, will be sworn in to the seat held for two-years by Paul Montoya, who was appointed to the Board following the death of Marcella Calderon. Like Cupchoy, he too had earned the endorsement of the Montebello Teachers Association.
Ben Cardenas, an aid to Congresswoman Grace Napolitano will be sworn in for the first time as an elected member of the Board. Cardenas easily won the seat he was appointed to at the beginning of the year, following Ed Chau’s move to the State Assembly.
MUSD President David Vela and Board Member Hector Chacon make up the remainder of the MUSD Board of Education.