Following the 2-2 split decision by the Los Banos City Council on appointing a mayor during their Wednesday, Oct. 5 meeting,Paul Llanez the solo mayoral candidate in November’s election,challenged the decision by the two members who voted no. (See related article)
When asked for his comments Llanez responded Friday afternoon, “It has become obvious Councilmember Lewis does not want me on the council. She made a comment questioning my integrity and stating her opinion I have a predetermined agenda. Let me be very clear, I didn’t get to where I am today by allowing any personal agenda to ever influence any leadership decisions I have ever made. And it is sad to hear a current leader of our city has a predetermined, negative opinion of someone she has never once had a conversation with. Especially considering I was a longtime city employee and am one of her constituents in her district.
“As for Councilman LLamas, I was completely surprised by his decision considering he has told me personally he wanted me on the council as soon as possible and made a similar statement publicly. To me, actions speak louder than words, especially in a position of leadership. If we can’t count on the words a leader says, do they really belong in that position? I guess the voters will decide that this November. I’d rather someone tell me the truth, than what I might want to hear, especially if that person is representing me, my city and my tax dollars.
“But with that being said, I do respect the decision made by the council and I will continue to support all members of the council, especially after I am elected as mayor, this November. Then, I will begin the challenge of removing a toxic and counterproductive culture of the current council by giving a voice and decision-making authority back to those it rightfully belongs to…the people of this great city.”
The vacancy was created by the resignation, last month of former Mayor Tom Faria. The election is November 8th and the winners in the races for mayor and Council District 2, currently held by appointed incumbent Refugio LLamas, will be seated during a meeting in December. Until then, Mayor Pro Tem Ken Lambert will continue to serve as the city’s acting mayor.