McEachron appointed mayor pro tem
December 04, 2012 8:32 PM
Brooke Edwards Staggs
VICTORVILLE • Jim Cox is now the mayor of Victorville, after the newly seated City Council unanimously gave him the title during Tuesday night’s meeting.
“I’m not going to make a speech,” Cox said as he took his seat at the center of the dais. “It’s not what I say, it’s what I do from this point on.”
Cox served as Victorville’s city manager from 1969 until he retired in 2000, leaving Victorville with a balanced budget and strong reserves. He was hired back in 2009, when former manager Jon Roberts resigned as the city’s finances crumbled. Cox worked to get Victorville back on track, canceling pricey and questionable contracts with outside vendors and slashing department budgets.
Departing Mayor Ryan McEachron first nominated Councilman Jim Kennedy for mayor. However, Kennedy declined the honor, stating his travel schedule won’t allow him to dedicate the needed time, and motioned for Cox instead.
McEachron was named mayor pro tem, which means he’ll fill in if Cox isn’t available to lead City Council meetings or man the scissors at ribbon-cuttings over the next two years.
McEachron was also seated to his second term on the council Tuesday night, as the third-highest vote-getter among 14 candidates on the November ballot. He was first elected to the City Council in November 2008 and appointed mayor in December 2010. He ran for City Council again after being defeated during the June primary in a run for the High Desert’s new 8th Congressional District.
Gloria Garcia was sworn in to her first term on the City Council by Councilwoman Angela Valles, after Garcia received 13.27 percent of the vote Nov. 6. Garcia runs a local tax business and has been very active in the local Hispanic business community.
Victorville also said goodbye Tuesday night to departing Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales and Councilman Mike Rothschild.
Rothschild was the longest-serving member left on the City Council, having been elected to his first term in 1984. He served two terms as mayor and three terms as mayor pro tem, elected to his sixth term on the City Council as the second-highest vote-getter in 2008.
“I appreciate the confidence the community has had in me over the years,” Rothschild said, reflecting on the city’s accomplishments in developing Southern California Logistics Airport, absorbing the city’s water districts and recently winning $54 million in a lawsuit over the failed Foxborough power plant.
Rothschild, a former Victor Valley High School mathematics teacher and U.S. Navy pilot, ran for a seventh term on the November ballot but missed nabbing a spot by 1,332 votes.
“Twenty-four years of commitment and devotion to the city of Victorville and its citizens,” McEachron said, as he recognized Rothschild. “You’ve done so much for this city, and we appreciate all that you’ve done.”
Cabriales opted not to run for another term on the City Council in November. He said Tuesday that “dirty politics” over the last two years have spilled over to include his wife, referring to controversy over whether she’d benefited from contracts he approved.
“You’ve served the city for an excess of 30 years — 36 1/2 years,” McEachron said with a laugh, as Cabriales clarified the number. “I suspect that Rudy’s not going away and that Rudy will still be involved.”
Following a career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Cabriales become the city of Victorville’s first fire chief in 1976. He retired from that post in 1997.
Cabriales joined the Victorville City Council in 1998 and was elected to three four-year terms after that, garnering the most votes during the 2008 election.
“You have a great city here because you have great staff,” Cabriales said, expressing optimism for Victorville’s future and encouraging new members to “do what’s best for the citizens of this community.”
Tuesday’s meeting was adjourned to Dec. 18, when the newly seated City Council will tackle its first full agenda.
Brooke Edwards Staggs may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at BEdwards@VVDailyPress.com.
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