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Ouzan, Perrone seated as Calexico council members

April 17, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Before Superior Court Judge Donal Donnelly swore in David Ouzan and Alex Perrone to the Calexico City Council on Tuesday night, he welcomed the men and the large audience packed into the City Hall council chambers here.

"Good evening, buenas noches and shalom," Donnelly said.

Speaking in Spanish, he talked to the standing-room only audience, "These young gentlemen before you have a lot of energy and this is a great moment in their professional and personal lives."

He looked at Ouzan and Perrone, "You must always remember what the people want and be aware of the danger of ‘only in Calexico.'"

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The two men smiled as audience members laughed.

Donnelly asked the men to swear with a "loud and proud" voice to defend the constitutions of the United States and California. Both Ouzan and Perrone did.

They took their seats on the dais after shaking the hands of departing councilmen Javier Alatorre and Gilbert Grijalva.

The first order of business for the new council was reorganization. The council voted unanimously to appoint John Renison as mayor and Frank Montoya as mayor pro tem.

After everyone switched seats and shook hands again, City Councilman Victor Carrillo, the out-going mayor, gave the new councilmen some advice.

He said it is important to always "agree to disagree" and warned the men to never "take it home with you."

As Renison started the Redevelopment Agency board meeting so that board could reorganize, Perrone asked to speak.

"I'm looking forward to working with you," he said to the other men on the council.

Speaking to the audience, he thanked Calexico residents for giving him the chance.

"I promise to do my best and I have a lot of plans to improve the quality of life," he said.

He stressed his "open-door policy."

Ouzan told the audience, "I will voice your concerns and with your help we can make a difference."

After recapping his campaign pledges to fight for after-school programs and a cleaner city, Ouzan said, "One thing is to make promises. Now it is time to fulfill them!"

During the RDA meeting, Montoya thanked Alatorre and Grijalva for their service.

"I'm going to miss you guys," he said.

Wrapping up the meeting, Renison reeled off a list of plans and ideas he hopes the City Council accomplishes during his second one-year mayoral term.

He proposed an aggressive program to attract development to Calexico and stressed the importance of having enough city employees to keep the parks clean and the community's children active all year.

Before the swearing-in ceremony and the RDA meeting, the council honored Alatorre and Grijalva.

Grijalva said he was proud to see the city grow during his years on the council.

"And we've personally contributed to that growth. When I started on the council four years ago I had one child; now we have five," he said.

Alatorre told the new councilmen, "If there is anything I can do to help. I'm going to be there and I hope everyone of us will be there as well to help them in the future."

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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