The regularly scheduled Ontario City Council work session on Thursday night was anything but regular as three city councilors made their exits and three new city councilors made their entrances.
The three departing councilors were presented with plaques for their service to the city.
Councilor Norm Crume, whose service spanned 12 years, after being presented his plaque, bestowed upon Ontario Mayor Riley Hill a spoof game kit. The “ACME Mayor’s Strategic Plan Shell Game Kit” was in response to the mayor’s references to moving of money from one city fund to another being like that of a “shell game.” The reveal of the game brought peals of laughter from the crowd.
“I think the city has it perfected,” said Hill, “At least that’s how I’ve noticed it.”
Councilor Marty Justus was second to receive his plaque for his contributions.
“It’s been my privilege and honor to be a council member for the citizens of Ontario,” said Justus.
Councilor Ramon Palomo, in receiving his plaque, said that he’s going to take some time off from the Council, but plans on making a return in the future.
“I would never imagine that I would be in a place like this without the great citizens of Ontario to allow me, give me, the opportunity to represent you, to work for ya and I know you guys will keep doing this, keep moving forward,” stated Palomo.
Following after, the three new Ontario City Councilors: John Kirby, Eddie Melendrez and Sam Baker were sworn in simultaneously by City Recorder Tori Barnett.
The next order of business for the new council was to elect a new council president. The interim council president, Michael Braden, was serving in the absence of former council president Dan Capron, who stepped down from the Council in October of 2020 following a residence change that put him outside of city limits.
Councilor Ken Hart moved to nominate Councilor Freddy Rodriguez as council president which was followed by an immediate second from Braden and others, causing Hill to comment on the swiftness of the action.
“Well, we had three or four seconds,” said Hill.
With no further discussion, Rodriguez’ nomination was approved unanimously.
It is noteworthy that Rodriguez was the first to nominate Hart to fill the vacancy by Capron.