WATSONVILLE — A congratulatory meeting Tuesday night resulted in a shake-up of the Watsonville City Council that saw Lowell Hurst elected as the new mayor.
New councilmember Karina Cervantez was elected mayor pro tempore.
"It is a great honor and great responsibility to take on this task," Hurst said. "I hope that my experience, patience and temperament will be a value to the community and to the council."
Hurst previously served as mayor from 1993-1994.
Outgoing mayor Eduardo Montesino will still serve on the council and will be up for re-election in 2014.
"It's very prestigious being mayor," he said. "Everywhere you go people want to know who the mayor of Watsonville is. It was an honor, a pleasure, to serve the city of Watsonville."
Hurst was nominated by councilman Felipe Hernandez, using a process that the city has used for the past 15 years, according to City Clerk Beatriz Flores.
Three councilmembers — Hernandez, Montesino and Daniel Dodge — sought to nominate a fellow councilmember for mayor. Hernandez drew the number one, allowing him to nominate first.
Montesino and Dodge both withdrew their nominations after Hernandez nominated Hurst.
However, the process didn't sit well with Watsonville resident Rhea DeHart, who, despite showing her support for Hurst, said she had "serious concerns" about the electing process and the fact that all newly-elected councilmembers ran unopposed.
"I thought there would be other nominees," she said. "Are the voters so satisfied or apathetic or indifferent that they believe that their participation is not needed? Or is it as I suspect, the political process is so expensive and time consuming that it becomes exclusive rather than inclusive? You're giving no voice to the voters."
For the complete article see the 12-13-2012 issue.
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