Perris representatives and members of the public welcomed newly elected Councilwoman Marisela Magana as well as City Councilman David Starr Rabb and City Clerk Nancy Salazar who won second four-year terms in the November election.
Magana, 28, was sworn into office during a brief ceremony at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting.
The former City employee, field representative for U.S. Rep. Mark Takano and substitute teacher said she was “super excited” to represent residents of Perris, where she has lived most of her life. She promised to bring “drive, perseverance, resilience and compassion” to the City Council, saying: “Thank you God and bless the beautiful City of Perris!”
Magana attended Pinacate Middle School, graduated from Perris High School in 2008 and went on to earn a BA in sociology from UC Riverside and a Master’s Degree in management from the University of Redlands.
Magana’s cousin, Sandra Espinosa, administered the oath of office to Magana during while the standing room only audience looked on. Visitors also included Magana’s mother, Dolores Gonzalez, and her boyfriend, Edward Nava.
“Thank you to all my supporters and those who helped me out,” Magana said in an interview prior to taking her seat on the dais. “For those who did not vote for me I will work hard and tirelessly and diligently to serve all Perris residents. I am blessed to have this opportunity to do so. God will join with me to make the best decisions for the residents of Perris.”
Magana said her priority is bringing high-skilled jobs to Perris so residents don’t have to leave the City to find good paying jobs. She said she will work with businesses, not-profits, educators and others to forge the coalition to improve the quality of available jobs. Another priority: keeping communities safe, Magana said she plans to work with police, Neighborhood Watch groups and social-service providers to make that happen.
“The quality of life is getting better,” she said. “I hope it continues to get better for all residents.”
She praised Rep. Takano, who Magana called “a great mentor.”
“He taught me the value of standing up for your rights and putting up the good fight,” she said. “He also taught me that being a public servant means working around-the-clock. He has a great work ethic.”
Magana also has worked with the City of Perris as part of the Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention (NEOP) program.
`Honor and privilege’
Rabb’s nephew, Isaiah Rabb, 9, read the oath of office to his uncle. Rabb’s brother, Dubron, and sister-in-law, Monica, also were in the audience. In remarks from the dais, Rabb thanked his supporters who posted signs, made telephone calls on his behalf and provided financial support.
“I will never forget your support,” Rabb said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the almost 80,000 residents in Perris.”
Rabb noted several recent major accomplishments in Perris, including ground-breaking at the Perris Plaza and the new businesses coming to that location, including Ross, Burlington, Alta Beauty, Planet Fitness and others. The City also enjoys healthy sales tax revenues and has maintained fiscal frugality. Such spending restraint will be necessary should another recession hit the county as happened a decade ago.
“We must maintain our reserves, we must closely watch our finances,” he said.
Rabb conclude his comments by urging residents “to please keep me in your prayers.”
Salazar was sworn in by her husband, Cesar, who she called “my number one supporter.” She thanked her family and supporters.
“I am here because of you,” Salazar said.
Support from colleagues
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona complimented Magana, Rabb and Salazar for winning what he called “a historic election” that included a very heavy turnout. He praised Salazar for “always doing a great job and being a professional and neutral elected official.”
Corona praised Rabb for serving faithfully and said he looked forward to more spirited conversations with him in the future. Corona offered this bit of advice to Magana.
“People here elected you for who you are,” he said. “Keep your principles and values.”
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers Salazar and Rabb for winning their elections, saying “this is a blessed night for the City of Perris.” She praised Magana as a “beacon of light,” adding “I look forward to working with you.”
“The City of Perris is in great hands,” Rogers said. “I look forward to continuing the great legacy we’ve started.”
Mayor Michael Vargas summed up his sentiments succinctly.
“I look forward to another four years,” he said.