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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 3:55 am | Fair 41º

 
 
 
 

Jerry Beatty Appointed to Fill Vacancy on Guadalupe City Council

The newly sworn-in councilman, who competed against four other candidates for the seat, says he 'wants the best' for the town

A vacancy on the Guadalupe City Council was filled Tuesday night by a 10-year resident who said he recognized he had big shoes to fill.

Jerry Beatty gained the needed three votes to be appointed to complete the remainder of Councilman Jerry Tucker’s term. Councilman John Lizalde opposed the appointment.

Tucker, who also was the city's retired police chief, died Sept. 13 after battling multiple health problems. He was in the middle of his four-year term.

After the vote to appoint him and before he took the oath of office Tuesday night, Beatty told Tucker’s wife, Judy, who was sitting in the audience, “I will do your husband proud.”

Four other men also had applied for the vacancy. Two of the candidates — Alejandro Ahumada and Ken Chamness — ran against Tucker in 2012. The other two — Eugene Costa Jr. and Joshua Peterson — tossed their hats in the ring after the council members solicited more applications following the Oct. 14 meeting.

Beatty, who previously ran for a seat on the council 2006, is a territory manager with Health Sanitation Services (Waste Management) Inc. He previously worked as senior account executive with Aramark Cleanroom Services.

He said his deep regard for Guadalupe led him to apply.

“Guadalupe is at a crossroads that will shape our community for the next several years, and the leadership of this council will be put to the test as to how our city moves forward,” Beatty said. 

The city loses shoppers to neighboring cities because Guadalupe’s options are limited, he said. Additionally, the city needs to encourage businesses that cater to the tourism industry.

“I love this town, and I want the best for it,” Beatty said.

The field of candidates included both newer residents and those who resided in the city for several years.

Costa, formerly a paid-call firefighter for 10 years, is employed by the Guadalupe Union School District as a campus safety assistant.

“One of my goals to do this is to help the city get out of a financial bind, to get the proper tax revenue that we need by getting businesses to want to come in to help us so we don’t get in this situation again,” Costa said.

Peterson, who also goes by the name Cody Wolf, runs an online radio station, Omega Republic.

He said he could help the city improve its broadcasting of council meetings, and agreed that Guadalupe is at a crossroads, adding that the city needs some risk takers.

Ahumada retired in 2003 after spending 25 years with the federal Bureau of Prisons. 

“I’m interested in this position because I think it could be the last opportunity if things don’t go right as far as the passage of the initiatives and the city might dissolve,” he said, adding he want to help the city became fiscally sound. 

Chamness, who spent many years in the military, previously served on the Guadalupe Planning Commission.

“A vision I have for the city is we need to start coming together,” Chamness said. “The city is hurting. People are hurting. There’s some heartache in the town. We need to start looking at ways to bridge that gap. Some say they don’t even know we’re going to be a city in the future. I say we need to fight for out last ounce of strength to continue on as a town.”

During the interview, council members asked about state water, gaining citizens’ trust and future development for Guadalupe.

Mayor Frances Romero warned the candidates that the job involves much more than attending two meetings a month, explaining that council members also sit on assorted other committees and boards.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said.

Councilwoman Gina Rubalcaba thanked the five men for taking the steps to apply for the vacancy.

“It’s obvious that you all really care for Guadalupe and for the future of Guadalupe,” she said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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