By Alex Dominguez
NORWALK – For the first time in nearly a year, Norwalk’s City Council once again sits at a complete five individuals after Margarita Rios, Jennifer Perez and Tony Ayala were all officially sworn in Tuesday evening.
Flanked by each of their families, Rios, Perez and Ayala all stood before a packed room within the council chambers and took the oath of office before sitting amongst their fellow councilmembers.
Each said a few words.
“As I was preparing for this moment tonight ladies and gentlemen, I was reminded of a quote from John F Kennedy. ‘Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction,’” said Perez. “Now is the time to combine our efforts and our courage with purpose and direction and make this year successful.”
“There is much to be done, but it’s not impossible,” said Rios. “Together, we will move Norwalk forward.”
“I’m looking forward to a very productive year, especially in the areas of potholes, public safety and senior citizens; I think we’re on the same page when it comes to that,” said Ayala. “Really the only thing that makes sense to say right now as I sit here and look out at all of you is to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The newly formed council’s first matter of business was the appointment of the new Mayor and Vice Mayor.
The task was accomplished extremely quickly, thanks in part to two of the Council’s newest members Ayala and Perez, who nominated and seconded veteran councilmember Luigi Vernola into the position. Council approved the move unanimously.
Leonard Shryock was soon after unanimously voted as Vice Mayor.
Vernola and Shryock will now take lead for the new council, unique in that it is made up of a majority of fresh faces.
“The people are the backbone, the blood, the water, the sweat of this community,” said Vernola. “We all have to work together, no matter what it is or what it entails for the betterment of all.”
Shryock described it as a “new era.”
Rios, Perez, and Ayala all also appointed their representatives to the Planning Commission, naming Rosa Barragan, Kim Apoadoca and Linda Lopez, respectively.
Several other individuals were also appointed to several commissions and advisory bodies as well.