Newly elected San Bernardino city officials took their Oath of Office during the regularly scheduled city council meeting at the Sturges Center of the Fine Arts on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Those include Mayor John Valdivia, Councilpersons Theodore Sanchez and Sandra Ibarra representing the First and Second wards respectively, and incumbent Fred Shorett of the Fourth Ward.
Outgoing Mayor Carey Davis addressed residents in the packed auditorium for the final time. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your mayor… I especially want to thank my wife for her support and the many sacrifices she made on behalf of myself and our city. Together we shared many sleepless nights, and many hours on our knees seeking guidance and council from our Father in heaven as we led our city out of bankruptcy.”
In his first speech as mayor, Valdivia opened by expressing his gratitude to family, friends and supporters for their trust in his leadership.
“The years past have brought a sense of distrust and apathy to our community because the city government was not responsive to the voice of the community; those days are over,” Valdivia asserted. “Now is the time to harness the hope of our future and bring about change, real change. And real change looks like a city government guided by the wants and needs of its community.”
Valdivia declared his commitment to being a “hands on leader” that will fight to make city government more accountable, responsive and accessible, noting that he would not hesitate to ask voters to amend the City Charter if necessary.
Sanchez said he looks forward to working with the council in this new generation of leadership, while Ibarra reiterated her platform of enhanced public safety, community engagement and beautification of the city.
“Until we achieve those three goals then our city will prosper again,” Ibarra remarked.
Shorett stated that he is happy to be reelected to another term, for the opportunity to see to fruition the efforts put in over the last five years, and to working with newly elected officials to keep the city “on track.”
“I believe a lot of hard work has been done, but I also believe that we are fragile, that we must be very vigilant in our duties leading this community as we continue our path to recovery and full sustainability,” declared Shorett.