Ivan Altamirano is Commerce’s new mayor following the city council’s annual reorganization Tuesday night.
Accompanied by his family, an emotional Altamirano praised his Cuban mother and Mexican father for deciding decades ago to raise him and his siblings in the “Model City.”
Tina Baca Del Rio, absent from the meeting due to illness, will continue on as mayor pro tem. Outgoing Mayor Lilia Leon’s years of service to the city was recognized with a bouquet of flowers and a plaque.
Altamirano told EGP he plans to act as the bridge between residents and the city when it comes to transparency.
“It’s time to rebuild trust, unity and peace in order to create amazing results for our community,” he said.
He also wants to focus more time on the city’s safety issues, and to work on opening a full-service Sheriff’s station in Commerce, which is currently patrolled by officers assigned to the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station.
“Our city boundaries do not keep crime nor pollution out of our city, so we must work with our residents, neighboring cities, East Yards Environmental Justice and our Sheriffs department to create solutions that will better serve our communities,” Altamirano said.
Altamirano, 42, started his involvement in city politics in 2005 as a planning commissioner. He was appointed to the council in 2012 to fill the seat left vacate when former Councilman Robert Fierro was forced to resign after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges. He was elected for the first time in 2013.
In 2014, Altamirano and fellow council members Del Rio, Leon and former mayor Joe Aguilar survived a recall attempt when backers were unable to gather enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot.
Commerce is a beautiful, well-maintained city, thanks to the efforts of the City Council and staff, Altamirano said. He said the city reminds him of Anaheim, “where Disneyland it located.”
“When I see the Southeast community, in its entirety, it brings me to believe that the City of Commerce is the ‘Anaheim’ of the Southeast area, and it is filled with tremendous potential” said the new mayor, who also recognized city businesses, the Commerce Casino, Citadel Outlets and others, for their contributions to the city.
“I can see a very clear picture of what is possible for the City of Commerce. I can see us creating a beautiful city without harming any of our programs for the residents,” he said enthusiastically.
Per tradition, Leon will continue as mayor at city events through the end of March, while Altamirano will preside over the council responsibilities, according to Commerce Spokesperson Herlinda Chico.
Chico told EGP this is done so the outgoing mayor can participate in “the biggest event in the city,” the crowning of the new Miss Commerce on March 26.
Miembros del concilio de la ciudad de Commerce dijeron estar indignados al encontrar más de 4,000 firmas descalificadas que se entregaron para su destitución. “El problema se investigará y nos aseguraremos que la ciudad se encargue de quien trató de defraudar a los votantes de California sea responsable”, dijo el Concejal Ivan Altamirano, uno de los cuatro miembros del concilio quien estaba en la lista de destitución.
Read the Full Story in English: Commerce recall Fails: City Councilmember Calls Fraud