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Tuesday, May 15, was a changing of the guard at City Hall in more ways than one when Mitchell Drummond was sworn in as the newly elected Council representative for District 2. At the same time, long-time City Clerk Susan Brock retired, and the swearing-in documentation was one of her last duties at City Hall after 15 years of working for Taylor. Drummond replaces Christopher Gonzales, who has served as the Council representative in District 2 for nine years. Mayor Brandt Rydell won re-election in District 3 earlier in May, and was also re-sworn to uphold the laws of the City of Taylor.
Next, Council members nominated from among themselves candidates for Mayor. Robert Garcia nominated Council Member Dwayne Ariola, and Drummond nominated Rydell. In the end, the vote of 4-1 gave the top job to Rydell, who will remain as Mayor of Taylor for another year. City charter instructs Council Members to choose a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from among the group each year, instead of citizens voting for those positions. Christine Lopez, District 1, was chosen to remain as Mayor Pro Tem for another term.
The community, City staff, current and past Council Members attended a reception for Brock, which was held before the 6 p.m. Council meeting in City Hall Auditorium. She was given a plaque and gifts in recognition of her many years of service. City Manager Isaac Turner graciously thanked her for her professionalism and the wealth of knowledge she has, acknowledging how he and staff will miss her. Mayor Rydell spoke in her honor and said when he first got on City Council, he was told she as the most important person to know at City Hall. Brock is replaced by Dianna Barker, who begins work as Taylor City Clerk on Thursday, May 17.
After the 20-minute Council meeting, the audience again gathered in the Auditorium for a farewell reception for Gonzales. The Mayor and City Manager Turner both spoke of the many contributions and hard work Gonzales has put in as a Council member. Gonzales thanked his family for their long-time support, his employer who allowed him time off as needed to perform Council duties, and the citizens for how they also have supported him during his nine years representing them.
The next meeting of the new City Council is at 6 p.m. on May 24, 2018. Meetings are held each second and fourth Thursdays at 400 Porter St., except in November and December, where there is one meeting. They are always open to the public and can also be viewed on live streaming via the City of Taylor website or its phone app, available free for Android and iOS platforms.