Two recently elected Riverbank City Council members have been sworn into office and it was a bit like a wedding ... something old and something new. But there was nothing borrowed nor anything blue.
The ‘new’ was the configuration of the council, which, as of Tuesday, Dec. 11, has completed its transformation from at-large (city-wide) representation and voting, to a panel, except for the mayor, chosen by the voters of the district they live in. The mayor is still voted on by the entire city.
Both the mayor and council members have been selected in at-large elections since 1988, with the mayor being chosen from among sitting council members before that. The city was incorporated in 1922.
As such, another ‘new’ was sworn in to represent the new District 1: Luis Uribe.
In the three-way race for the newly created district vote, Uribe won the seat with 453 votes, while Jack Whorton placed second at 386 and Eva Nash got 351 votes.
The race for District 3 was close and complicated by several factors. Previously sitting council members Cal Campbell and Leanne Jones-Cruz were elected under the old, at-large plan, coming from anywhere in the city and representing the whole town.
In this election, they were pitted against each other, since they both live in the new District 3 boundaries. Campbell finished with a slim 34 vote edge.
Both Uribe and Campbell were sworn in at the Dec. 11 regular city council meeting, completing the city’s transition from at-large to district council elections. After the ceremony, they took a few moments to address the audience, thanking their supporters and mentioning a few goals they wished to accomplish while in office.
Before the swearing in ceremony, outgoing council member Jones-Cruz was recognized as she left the dais. She, too, addressed the audience, thanking them for the opportunity to be of service to the community. Jones-Cruz, a fourth generation Riverbank resident, said she was proud of the things that were accomplished during her terms in office.
Also, it was noted at the meeting that the two local measures on the November ballot were successful.
Measure B authorizes the council to enact a cannabis business tax on local outlets in the city, up to 10 percent. It passed by a large margin, 4,481 to 1,984 votes.
Measure G was a ballot proposal in the Riverbank Unified School District. It passed 64 to 36 percent, 2,288 to 1,353. It is a tax rate extension that authorizes $19.1 million in locally controlled funds to repair and upgrade educational facilities and classrooms throughout the district.