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Kelley Takes Over as Mayor in Norwalk

Cheri Kelley

During the municipalities annual mayoral transition ceremony held Tuesday night before a standing room only crowd at city hall, Cheri Kelley took over as Mayor, quickly thanked her colleagues for the honor, and got down to work.

Kelley’s voice cracked in her acceptance speech.

“For several years we have talked about the economy, and I am proud of our city council and our city staff for helping minimize these challenging times.”

She wants to create a marketing plan to promote Norwalk; to engage residents to get to know each other; a collaborative to work reach out and start new a new type of partnership with our local school districts, and colleges.”

“Norwalk lost $9 million dollars due to the recent elimination of the city’s Redevelopment Agency during the past 12 months and now we need to think differently in so many different ways.” Kelley said.

Ongoing Mayor Mike Mendez thanked the community for his past year as mayor.  “It is a team up here, and we all have the ability to vote our own way,” Mendez said.  He also thanked his wife Becky and daughter Lauren who is a local school principal.  “All five of us have made this past year happen, and for that I am very grateful,” Mendez commented.  It was his sixth time to serve as Mayor of Norwalk.

Also attending was past mayor’s Bob Arthur, Gordon Stephenhagen, Rudy Bermudez, Judith Brennan as well as former California State Assemblywoman Sally M. Havice.

Councilmember Luigi Vernola was named Vice Mayor.  Vernola thanked his family, and stressed that “now is the time to give back to the community we all love so very, very much.”

“With God’s help we are going to work together to make Norwalk better and stronger,” said Vernola.

A long line of key community leaders, and area elected officials and their representatives paid tribute to Mendez during the two hour meeting.

Little Lake City School Board Member made a donation of two children’s books, one featuring Dr. Seuss and the other a hardback version of “The Hunger Games.”

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education members presented Mendez with a baseball hat because according to President Daryl Adams, “Mayor Mendez wears many different hats other than just than that of Mayor.”

Popular Norwalk Sheriff’s Captain Pat Maxwell donated a $250 check on behalf of his deputies for the Mayor to donate to his favorite charity, the American Cancer Society.

Norwalk Community Coordinating Council also donated a check for $250 on behalf of the American Cancer Society as did the Norwalk Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, and leaders from the Norwalk Senior Citizen’s Club.

A total of $1500 in donations was presented to Mendez that he said is “much more important than a plaque or certificate.”

Also, Mendez was given a “Jet Blue Gift Card” from his two grown children Michael and Loren who are both currently appearing on Broadway in New York City.

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