Cathedral City Council has chosen its newest council member, John Aguilar. The seat became vacant after Stan Henry was elected Mayor.
Aguilar was one of 11 candidates interviewed during a public session Wednesday, each applicant answered the same 5 questions.
“I think that it is amazing that that the council picked me out of a candidate pool of 11 of really extremely well qualified folks from across the community that anyone could have done a great job, I am really humbled by the selection and look forward to working with the community to improve our city,” said John Aguilar.
The City Council choose this open process instead of appointing someone behind closed doors.
“It was in our right to just appoint somebody, but then people will sit there and question why did you appoint this person? Why did you not appoint this person? There could have been an other better person if somebody would have gone out there, so I think it was very beneficial to us to see who was out there, who wants to have involvement in our community and listen to what their issues are and what their beliefs and ideas are,” said Mayor Stan Henry.
After two and a half hours two candidates stood out, Denise Rodriguez Bowman, a social worker who grew up in Cathedral City, and John Aguilar, deputy director of Riverside County’s Economic Development Agency.
Newly elected Mayor Stan Henry says the need for growth in the city is why Aguilar was ultimately chosen.
“Our biggest issue is development and what are we going to do move Cathedral City forward his expertise in those areas, his knowledge in those ares is going to be very beneficial to the community as a whole,” said Henry.
“I really want the citizens of our city and our valley in general to understand that this is a new day with this council with this new mayor and administration and you will see great things come from Cathedral City,” said Aguilar.
Aguilar and the new council say they are ready to get to work, including implementing many of the ideas several of the other candidates brought up during their interviews.
“I took some notes, some great ideas just came out of tonight and if we can expound on those ideas of everybody that participated that is going to make our community that much better,” said Henry.
“I want to establish really quickly methods for me to be able to connect more with the community and embrace that diversity that we have,” said Aguilar.
This is Aguilar’s second time being appointed, he temporarily filled the seat vacated by Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Vasquez who resigned as part of a plea agreement in an embezzlement case.
Aguilar was sworn in on the spot, he will serve two years.