Elected officials sworn in; city says farewell to outgoing councilors
Not many elected officials are able to walk in the shoes of their constituents before they take office, but newly elected Globe Mayor Al Gameros may be one of a few exceptions.
Gameros served both young and old Globe citizens through the Fire Department for 29 years, and 18 of those years was as fire chief. He volunteered and worked for the fire department in Central Heights from 1980 to 1987. He was also interim city manager several times, including the last four weeks before his retirement in January. Although it was always understood that he would leave to run for office, Gameros worked with some of his youngest constituents at the Boys & Girls Club by designing and running a junior fire academy that taught firefighting skills, as well as honor, responsibility and respect for self and others. In the years before that, he and his wife, Irene, ran youth basketball teams, and he coached numerous sports.
It was during his short times as interim city manager that he realized the potential of serving as mayor. “I realized all of the things that had happened and all of the things that could happen,” he said. “And, I wanted to give back everything they gave to me.”
Gameros and three other people were sworn into office in front of a packed Council Chamber on Tuesday night, Nov. 15. The other newly elected officials were Charlene Giles, District 5, and Freddy Rios, District 1. C.M. Mike Humphrey, District 2, was re-elected to his post. Councilman Mike Stapleton, District 4, was nominated by Gameros for vice mayor, and the council voted unanimously to affirm him for that position.
Gameros said his goals include improving the following:
Quality of life
“We need events from the youth on up to senior citizens to keep them here at night and on weekends,” he said. “We need events that will make other people want to come here to visit us.”
The council will meet Dec. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to share their individual visions and develop a list of priorities.
Giles and Rios both said a few words after performing the oath of office.
“We may not always agree, but we will always work for the entire city,” Giles said before launching into a description of community events, past and present aimed at beautifying the area.
Rios thanked his constituents for electing him and vowed to represent them to the best of his ability.
Humphrey thanked voters for “putting me back up here,” referring to his position as councilman sitting behind the dais.
Closing Remarks by Former Council, Mayor
Outgoing council members and Mayor Terry Wheeler said their farewells and expressed their hopes for continued progress for the city of Globe.
Roberta Lee Johnson, District 3, said the council came together although it didn’t always agree. Eric Mariscal, District 5, said he was honored to serve.
“We’ve made some good forward progress,” he said.
Outgoing Mayor Terry Wheeler laced his comments with humor, claiming his mother and father had a lot to do with his decision to not run again. “Mother Nature and Father Time, that is,” he said.
He said he and the rest of the council was able to make things happen with “no casualties” because of an exemplary city staff who knew how to get things done.
“Thanks, staff, for your outstanding support and for your friendship,” he said.
Aimee Staten has worn several hats over the last few years, but she recently put on one of her more familiar caps after four years of working in nonprofits: That of a journalist. She has 14 years of experience in the news business as a reporter with eight of those years as the managing editor of the Eastern Arizona Courier.