Brawley Welcomes New Mayor and Council Members at Ceremony.
By Chris Furguson
At a ceremony held at the Brawley Elks Lodge on December 11, 2009, the Brawley City Council said goodbye to two long-time members while welcoming two new members and a new Mayor.
Esteban “Steve” Vasquez, the former mayor of Brawley, along with councilmember John Benson, left the council while new members Sam Couchman and Miguel C. Miranda were sworn in and appointed as members of the council.
Benson leaves after his second stint of twelve years on the Brawley City Council, the first from 1968 until 1980 and the second one from 1997 until 2009. In between stints on the City Council, Benson also served on the IID Board of Directors.
Vasquez leaves after sixteen years of service to the Council. Vasquez also served on the Brawley Planning Commission for five years prior to his election to the higher office.
In his final remarks as Mayor, Vasquez thanked City staff for their help during his tenure on the council. “We [the Council] provide direction, but you make the city run,” said Vasquez.
At that point, Couchman and Miranda were sworn in as council members by City Clerk Alma Benavides. This led to the election of Ryan Kelley, whose grandfather had been mayor of Brawley over 50 years ago, as Mayor of Brawley.
Don Campbell was chosen as Mayor Pro Tem on the very next vote.
Kelley, Couchman and Miranda were then given an opportunity to speak about their new positions in City government.
Awards were later presented to the Benson and Vasquez for their service to the community, including plaques from the city and a proclamation from Assemblyman Manuel Perez and a scrapbook of events the Mayor attended throughout his term as Mayor.