A changing of the guard…

0
227
Mayor1web.jpg

Stanton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 10, for Councilman Rigoberto "Rigo" Ramirez to serve as the mayor for 2014.

Although Ramirez is not the youngest person to serve Stanton as mayor, he is the youngest Mayor in this century.

Mayor Pro Tem Al Ethans was also unanimously voted to continue as mayor pro tem for 2014.  

In the community, it's reported that Ramirez is "One of the good guys" and that he can disagree without being disagreeable.

Stanton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Dec. 10, for Councilman Rigoberto "Rigo" Ramirez to serve as the mayor for 2014.

Although Ramirez is not the youngest person to serve Stanton as mayor, he is the youngest Mayor in this century.

Mayor Pro Tem Al Ethans was also unanimously voted to continue as mayor pro tem for 2014.  

In the community, it's reported that Ramirez is "One of the good guys" and that he can disagree without being disagreeable.

Washington, D.C. could use some of that, because they'd get something accomplished; however, for now, Stanton welcomes Ramirez as mayor.

“I couldn’t be more proud to serve the citizens of this community,” said Ramirez. “I look forward to continuing in the footsteps of former Mayor David Shawver, who has pretty big shoes to fill.”

Ramirez was selected to serve on the City Council in March 2012, previously serving as a planning commissioner.

In an interview, Ramirez was asked the following questions:

Q. What are your plans are for the city, on particular issues such as Beach Boulevard, shopping carts, the noise ordinance, etc.

A. There are 71,000 cars on Beach Boulevard every day, which translates to 71,000 opportunities to impress current and future residents and business owners. A year ago there were some immediate challenges that we the council identified, tackled and will continue to improve upon. There was an uptick in solicitation that with the determined efforts of council and our police department we have seen a significant decline in activity. To further along this initiative, I requested in our last council meeting that we publish publicly the name, age and city of residence of those individuals who solicit these pedestrians with the end goal of discouraging this activity altogether.

Also, by working with the Illumination Foundation, the few homeless that lived on our streets have been re-habilitated and now contribute to society. The Foundation is a true community partner and recognizes that a homeless challenge is not a hopeless challenge.

Lastly, there was a need amongst the business community for an opportunity to information-share and further relationships. The existing Stanton Business Alliance was re-energized and has provided a quarterly luncheon and learns, where our business community comes to network and gains knowledge on topics that directly impact their organizations. It also serves as a platform where potential business owners who attend can see firsthand the fluid communication between business and city.

Q. What's your priority for the city?

A. At the end of a long day, it's a challenge to grab your keys and head out to a council meeting to share your thoughts with City Council and staff.  That said, we implemented the bringing City Hall to the streets program, which has been a great success. The goal is to connect council, city staff and police services with each of our neighborhoods and listen to what really matters.  We have been successful in implementing most requests with a few remaining ones on the docket for further review. The neighborhood meetings will continue in 2014 and being a firm believer of what gets "measured" gets done, we will rotate back to re-visit each neighborhood to evaluate the effectiveness of what was implemented. It also allows us to identify other new challenges, which we will address early-on and eliminate before it impacts residents.

Business development specifically is a priority for the city; Beach Boulevard is accelerating in the right direction. With the success of bringing in Kim's Piano and Walmart Express to anchor the ends of our city we will continue to develop from our borders inward. To maintain this momentum we proactively engaged the State Controller’s Office so that they could perform their audit of our former Redevelopment Agency (we felt that waiting until they contacted us could have us miss out on business opportunities). That onsite visit was just concluded which places us one step closer to further develop our options and finally begin the process of building our new 11-acre Stanton Park.

Q. Why did you run for council in the first place —  and have you seen some of your objectives accomplished so far?

A. There is great opportunity in our city. From a business point-of-view we have underdeveloped patches of the city, which we will continue to proactively search, for the right business partner.  Being just over three-miles in size, we were still able to bring in more than 100 new businesses in 2013 and have recently been recognized by several organizations for our new business programs. Also, we will continue supporting our current businesses by discovering avenues to promote their goods and services. We are just concluding a year-long, well-participated incentive program for current business owners who performed improvements to their organizations.

From a community point-of-view we have maintained great events that the entire city can enjoy. While participation is high for these events, we still have room to expand, so furthering our community out-reach is important for continued success. Encouraging further communication between City Hall and residents is critical to implementing policy and practices that make a positive difference. The neighborhood meetings where council and staff pitch a tent on local streets and welcome productive conversation from local residents is a big step forward in creating a healthy, meaningful stream of idea sharing.

Q. Anything else you'd like the public to know?

A. On May 16, 2011, Councilman Al Ethans told me that, "There's more to being a good neighbor than just coming home and watering the grass." That was the ah-ha moment I needed to further my community involvement. Life should not be an exercise of getting up, feeding the kids, getting them to school, coming home, having dinner, going to bed and starting all over again the next day.  Instead, life should be an experience that has each and everyone of us enjoying our parks, community activities and getting to know our neighbors just a little more. As we continue to increase our exposure to residents, the one thing that is clear is that there is tremendous community pride and a hunger to expand that feeling up and down Beach Boulevard. City Council is made up of people, for the people, and our current and continued approach is a living example of our motto, “Community Pride and Forward vision.”