Counting the vote

first_imgThe new council majority, however, appeared to fragment over the firing of former City Manager Chuck Fuentes, who Beilke supported but Armenta later voted to oust. Gallegos-Smith said her election did not mean she will back Beilke in voting on issues. “I’ll make my own decisions. My family started the tradition of community service years ago, so that has brought me here,” she said. “I’m happy to work with anyone on City Council, but my family has been around long before any of them were there,” she said. Gallegos-Smith said her first priority as a councilwoman will be to help bring in a city manager. Other goals are “easy fixes,” she added, such as parking issues in the city. • Photo Galleries: Election day around the Valley | Pasadena and WhittierPICO RIVERA – Culminating a contentious race for control of the City Council, voters Tuesday favored newcomers Gracie Gallegos-Smith and Bob Archuleta, as well as incumbent Gregory Salcido. In semi-official voting results, Gallegos-Smith, Archuleta and Salcido were leading. They were followed by Carlos Garcia and Pete Ramirez. Candidate Martin Morones, 59, a transportation security officer, was running sixth, ahead of county investigator Armijo, 56, early results showed. Gallegos-Smith, 41, and Archuleta, 60, had received heavy support from Councilman Ron Beilke, 47, during their campaign. Beilke’s election in 2005 created a voting bloc on the council that included Ramirez and Councilman David Armenta, 56. “These are things that are minor, but nobody’s listened to these people,” said Gallegos- Smith. “I’m going to make sure those get taken care of.” During the campaign, a top concern among all the candidates was the hiring of a new city manager, which Pico Rivera has been without since the council fired Fuentes in September. “We’ve got to go out and find the best person that knows the community, knows how to deal with federal and state officials and someone that could communicate with citizens of Pico Rivera,” said Archuleta, a county commissioner of veterans affairs. “We’re looking for someone with a lot of vision, a lot of insight to lead the city,” he added. Salcido, 38, who has been in office since 1999, said his focus is on hiring a city manager who is “qualified, experienced and independent.” “That is very beginning of what we do as council members – apart from that we have no greater obligation,” he said. “We have to hire the right people to run the organization. For the last year, we’ve had no one.” Gallegos-Smith has previous experience in public service, having served on the city’s Community Resource Advisory Commission. She also currently was a planning commissioner for Pico Rivera. A vice president of the Franco Entertainment recreation group, Gallegos-Smith has said she wants to provide new recreational venues for local residents. She also favors a plan by Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, to transform the Pico Rivera Sports Arena into a series of public athletic fields and picnic areas. Archuleta has also expressed support for Napolitano’s proposed recreation project. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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