Council swears in

New Councilmember Marisela Lara is sworn into office. Below, Mayor Fred Ledesma (left) is sworn in by City Manager Michael McHatten; Mayor Pro-Tem Alejandro Chavez is sworn in by his wife Erica Padilla-Chavez; and Chris Bourke holds up his awards for his service to the City of Soledad. He retired from the council after 16 years. (Photo by Samantha Bengtson)

New and returning members take oath

SOLEDAD — City of Soledad welcomed new and returning councilmembers Dec. 5 while giving gratitude to those leaving the council.

Mayor Fred Ledesma was sworn into office once again last Wednesday evening after running unopposed in November. Mayor Pro-Tem Alejandro Chavez was also re-elected to the council and was voted to remain the mayor pro-tem.

The council’s newest member is Marisela Lara, the eighth woman to be elected to the council. She joins Councilmembers Carla Stewart and Anna Velazquez, making the Soledad City Council predominantly female.

“Thank you to every single person who went out there and voted,” Lara said.

Councilmember Chris Bourke chose not to seek re-election after serving for 16 years on the council.

Bourke, a school teacher at Soledad High School, was presented with two plaques recognizing his service to the city.

“I really appreciate you asking those really challenging questions but really important questions,” Velazquez said. “Thank you for your service. It’s not easy to serve for 16 years.”

When Bourke started as a councilmember, he wanted to bring a movie theater to the city, and now one is in development currently.

“After 16 years, I think my time is up,” Bourke said. “I believe the best piece of advice I got: ’You were elected, not crowned.’ It’s about working for the people.”

New Councilmember Marisela Lara is sworn into office. Below, Mayor Fred Ledesma (left) is sworn in by City Manager Michael McHatten; Mayor Pro-Tem Alejandro Chavez is sworn in by his wife Erica Padilla-Chavez; and Chris Bourke holds up his awards for his service to the City of Soledad. He retired from the council after 16 years. (Photo by Samantha Bengtson)


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