HUNTINGTON PARK — Mario Gomez, first elected to the City Council in 2003, will preside over that body in the coming year as mayor.
Gomez, who operates a paint store, served as vice mayor the past year and was promoted to the mayor’s chair by his colleagues at the reorganization meeting March 23.
He replaced two-year mayor Elba Guerrero, who remains on the City Council. Councilman Juan Noguez was elected vice mayor.
Guerrero was sworn in for a second four-year term March 23. Also sworn in by City Clerk Rosanna Ramirez was newcomer Andy Molina, a former planning commissioner.
Molina and Guerrero were the only two candidates to file for the March 3 election, which was subsequently canceled.
Councilwoman Elba Romo did not seek re-election.
Gomez was philosophical about the transition.
“We are blessed to live in a country where government can change with no violence or bloodshed,” he said. “I will serve the residents of Huntington Park to the best of my ability and do all I can to be responsible to the community.”
Gomez said he will continue to push for more soccer fields at Salt Lake Park and added “I welcome ideas and input from the City Council and community.”
Noguez was elected city clerk in 2001 and was elected to the City Council in 2003 at which time the city clerk position was made appointive.
Employed in the Los Angeles County Assessor’s office, Noguez was re-elected in 2007.
Guerrero, a lifelong resident of Huntington Park and a grandmother, is an administrator with the Metrolink rail system.
She says her goals in the next four years will be to continue efforts to make the city “green” and to work with the police department.
Molina, 52, has lived in Huntington Park for 30 years and operates a kitchen cabinet store in Downey. He is also executive director of a nonprofit group, the Southeast Churches Service Center.
He and his wife, Irma, have two children.