Smith named mayor pro tem
December 04, 2012 9:04 PM

HESPERIA • The Hesperia City Council will begin the new year with a slightly different look, after a new mayor was appointed and two council candidates were sworn in during Tuesday night’s meeting.

After Eric Schmidt and incumbent Mike Leonard were officially seated as members, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Holland was appointed as the city’s new mayor, with Thurston “Smitty” Smith being selected as mayor pro tem.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said former Mayor Russ Blewett, who will continue to serve on the council. “I think the city is in good hands with this group of men who are knowledgeable and well experienced.”

During his 2010 candidacy and two years on the council, Holland had been pro-growth, calling business the “life blood of the city” and pushing for new business in lieu of raising taxes on existing businesses.

Holland experienced a portion of his vision, as he spoke with guests during the grand opening of the new Walmart Supercenter on Main Street in September, the same store which overflowed with customers on Black Friday.

“I follow in some pretty big shadows, and I don’t know if there is a tougher act to follow,” Holland said. “I look forward to being a part of this team, which includes the park board, City Council and school board.”

Holland served with the U.S. Army’s military police, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Hesperia Unified School District Police Department.

Schmidt, a local businessman and engineer, ousted Councilman Paul Bosacki after he received 19.65 percent of the vote, according to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.

Citing a line from former President Ronald Reagan, Schmidt said there is no limit to the amount of good the council can do if no one cares who gets the credit.

Smith, who has been on the council since 2006, served as mayor pro tem before he was appointed to the council’s top position in 2008.

Leonard, who begins his record third consecutive term, came in second, just 1.94 percentage points behind Schmidt during the November election where 11 candidates fought for the two seats.

The next regular meeting of the Hesperia City Council will take place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at

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