Imperial Valley Press

Usurping Mayor

- ARTURO BOJÓRQUEZ Adelante Valle Editor Arturo Bojórquez can be reached at abojorquez@ivpressonl­ or (760) 335-4646.

Recently, four of the five Calexico City Council members decided to vote for a change in the border government’s Mayoral rotation. With the amendment, Mayor Pro-Tem Raúl Ureña saw the last part of his title deleted and became Mayor – a merely ceremonial position since the position is only in charge of directing the sessions and representi­ng the government with a slightly higher position.

Those crumbs of power are highly desired by politician­s. In most cities, the position is rotating, and the designatio­n depends on several factors, such as the date of the election of the current council or, the place he occupied in the elections, and so on.

Last year, council members decided to keep Javier Moreno in the mayor’s office for Calexico, despite the fact that the turn correspond­ed to the then Mayor Pro-Tem Camilo García. However, the group in power within the Calexico City Council opted to push Garcia aside. This means that the latter had to occupy the mayor’s office from July of last year until next summer.

I do not know the reasons why the majority decided to downplay García and his constituen­ts – who also happen to be represente­d by the four members of the council – but they only show the small mentality of Ureña, Moreno, Gloria Romo, and Gilberto Manzanarez. In addition, they have shown the population their arrogance, selfishnes­s, and dishonesty.

If they were statesmen, the four council members would have allowed Garcia to be Mayor of Calexico.

Mayor Ureña in particular has shown his true character, who on the outside seems full of goodness, but on the inside is actually a politician sick from power.

Perhaps those who voted for the mayor feel proud of his personalit­y and for having reached the heights to where he has arrived. But for many others inside and outside the city – especially those who voted for council member Garcia – it will surely be a source of ridicule, affecting the representa­tiveness of the local border government before other authoritie­s.

Imperial Valley and other officials might show some respect for Mayor Ureña in public simply for the position he holds, but it is almost certain that inside he will cause contempt.

For the record, this column is not about being an attack on the personalit­y of Ureña or the community that he does not adequately represent, but about the strategies that he has used to get to where he is now.

I hope I’m wrong and that the mayor performs in an extraordin­ary way to get the city out of the hole in which it finds itself. The local government has financial problems, understaff­ing, failing businesses, rising insecurity, decaying infrastruc­ture, and now a political issue that will further divide residents.

To date, the city council has not achieved great goals. The few businesses that are still open barely subsist, there is no new investment and therefore no more jobs for residents, the streets are in poor condition, and inflation affects local families (as it does in almost everyone), with local politician­s pretending to solve those issues or bring some relief to residents. For his part, the mayor has only been involved in scandals and disputes with officials from other cities such as the former mayor of El Centro Cheryl Viegas-Walker.

If the trend of the vote in the city around Ureña continues as in the last two electoral processes, surely the now-mayor will pay dearly for his audacity and only for keeping a small piece of power.

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