The new man on the Perris City Council dais is a familiar face at City Hall.
Mark Yarbrough was sworn in Tuesday to fill a vacant seat on the City Council after winning a special election in November. Yarbrough, 56, was first elected in 1997 and has served almost 20 years as a City Councilman.
A graduate of Perris High School and a small-business owner, Yarbrough took the oath of office at the start of Tuesday’s (Dec. 8) City Council meeting.
His son, Marine Corps Cpl. Schyler Yarbrough, administered the oath. Also in attendance were his son, Kenny and his fiancé, Amanda, and their son, Silas, 3. Daughter Andrea, an Army sergeant, joined the meeting via Skype from New York.
Yarbrough’s mother, Maria Macias, also attended. Yarbrough thanked her for “guidance leadership and love.”
In comments immediately afterward, Yarbrough said that Perris is a “place of second chances.” When he was first elected, the City teetered on the verge of bankruptcy. Through years of prudent spending, Perris built a stable budget with reserves.
Like the City, Yarbrough feels he’s gotten a second chance.
“I am humbled and honored the community has asked me to return to serve,” Yarbrough. “We have come a long way in the City of Perris with everybody working together and I believe we will achieve great things if we continue to work as a team.”
Mayor Daryl Busch, Mayor Pro-Tem Tonya Burke and City Councilmembers Rita Rogers and David Star Rabb also extended well-wishes to their new colleague.
“It’s great to be working with a full City Council again so we can make great and positives decisions for the City of Perris,” Rabb said.
In an interview prior to the public meeting, Yarbrough predicted the City will experience continued growth in both the north and south ends, including commercial, residential and industrial projects bringing jobs and tax revenue to Perris.
He said the opening of the Metrolink commuter railway between Perris and Los Angeles will spur additional commercial and retail development.
Other noteworthy developments include the recent completion of the widening of Interstate 215 through Perris and the opening in December of the Patriot Park Soccer complex.
Along with world-class skydiving, auto and motorcycle racing, baseball and aquatics centers and a host of sporting activities at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area, Yarbrough said the City is garnering a regional reputation as the place to recreate.
Yarbrough said he expects Perris to continue its commitment to sustainable energy policies. The City won state-wide accolades for installing solar panels throughout its City Hall Campus nearly a decade ago and years later installed energy-efficient lightbulbs on street lights. Perris also has earned regional, state and national awards for implementing innovative programs like its “Live Well” healthy-eating active-living campaign and its commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged residents. The City recently took home the award for best municipal website in a regional competition.
“We have a great staff, a great community and a great commitment to getting the job done,” Yarbrough said. ““We’ve led the pack before and we can do so in the future.”