2 incumbents join new Councilman Rosales
Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 03/23/2011 09:55:55 PM PDT

LA VERNE – Old and new faces were celebrated at this week’s City Council meeting.

New Councilman Charlie Rosales was sworn into office as were incumbent Councilman Robert Rodriguez and incumbent Mayor Don Kendrick.

Rodriguez, 81, is the longest-tenured member of the council, having served for 29 years, since April 1982.

“Being on that City Council has been one of the most relaxing, exciting periods of my life,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “Everyone that has been on that council, even in years past, has been not looking for any personal gain or anything other than doing what’s best for the community, the citizens and the employees especially, too.”

Former Mayor Jon Blickenstaff, who came to the council at the same time as Rodriguez, served continuously as mayor for 27 years, noted City Clerk Evelyn Clark.

At Monday night’s meeting, Blickenstaff said Rodriguez’s length of time on the council helped him.

“Longevity has been his biggest strength,” Blickenstaff said. Another strength is his humor.

“The levity he brings is invaluable,” especially with difficult topics, Blickenstaff said.

A celebration was held for outgoing Councilman Steven F. Johnson, who decided not to run again for his seat.

“I feel like I represented a certain group of residents within the community,” Johnson said when asked what legacy he left. “I held true to my beliefs throughout my time in office.”

Johnson, whose uncle is Blickenstaff, said he did not run for office because he had promised voters he would just stay for two terms.

While he did pull papers to run for mayor this term, he changed his mind when he learned a proposed utility tax on the ballot would be pulled.

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