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New supervisors sworn into office

January 08, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

In a brief few minutes this morning three new members officially joined the county Board of Supervisors.

The men sworn in by Superior Court Judge Christopher Yeager were Hank Kuiper for District 2, Joe Maruca for District 3 and Gary Wyatt for District 4.

Watching were family and friends.

Maruca has been attending supervisors meeting for about a year and said although he's learned much, there is still a lot to learn.

He said the five supervisors have a positive relationship.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said after the ceremony.

Maruca said he is impressed with the new county executive officer, Ann Capela, said she has a good grasp of what's going on in the county and is focused.

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"It's going to be a lot of fun," he said.

Wyatt said he is excited about actually joining the board.

"It's an excellent opportunity for all three new members," he said. "It's a great time to forge ahead and do something for the county."

He said the board must concentrate on economic development and local infrastructure and evaluate each county department to ensure the county is providing services as efficiently as possible.

Kuiper said the road to the Board of Supervisors was 16 months of hard work.

"It was a tough campaign against a person who is a pillar in the community," he said, referring to former District 2 Supervisor Bill Cole, the man he defeated in November. "I look forward to the challenge of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and working with the board. I intend to keep my campaign promises of working with the other boards and commissions in the county. I think that's important to our future."

Besides Cole, who lost his fourth bid for the board, the new supervisors replace Dean Shores in District 3 and Tom Veysey in District 4, both of whom chose not to run for re-election.

Remaining members are Wally Leimgruber, outgoing chairman of the board, from District 5, and District 1 Supervisor Tony Tirado, expected to be elected chairman this evening.

Leimgruber said the new board, along with a new CEO, will provide the county with tremendous opportunities.

"We will have fresh perspectives and fresh ideas from three newly elected representatives," he said. "Each one of these individuals has shown strong leadership abilities. They will work well with their counterparts and the county will be the beneficiary of this new leadership."

Tirado said the board makes a great team.

"Let's look forward to their leadership," he said. "We have to be bold with our leadership. We have to bring in a regionalism for the health and welfare of our people."

A ceremonial re-enactment of the swearing-in will be conducted at 6 tonight in the board's chambers, 940 Main St., El Centro. The ceremony will include a color guard, comments from Yeager, presentation of the election certificates and a board reorganization.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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