Following 16 years on the city council; LLamas supports appointing Llanez to vacant mayor’s position
In a letter to the Los Banos interim city manager on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, Tom Faria resigned his position as mayor citing that he’s no longer a resident of the city. Later, Interim City Manager Greg Wellman issued a press release announcing Faria’s resignation.
“After nearly 16 years of service to the City of Los Banos (14 years as a City Council Member and 2 years as Mayor), Mayor Manuel Thomas Faria III has submitted his leaving office notice due to the fact that he will no longer be a resident of Los Banos, effective September 17, 2022.
“Mayor Faria, by his dedication and commitment to his duties and the community of Los Banos, has greatly contributed to the governmental process of the City of Los Banos and we offer him our sincere gratitude and appreciation for his many years of service,” Wellman stated.
In his letter Faria wrote about his time and provided a list of his accomplishments while in office.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Wellman,
I am writing to inform you that as of tomorrow, Saturday, September 17, I will no longer be a resident of Los Banos, so I will be unable to hold the office of Mayor.
It has been an honor to serve my city for 16 years, first as a council member, and, as for the last two years, as Mayor.
My goal was always to make Los Banos the best place possible for families to live and to thrive. During my tenure, our City Council, Staff, and Citizens accomplished a great deal; but there is much more to be done.
Working with our Council, Staff, and Citizens, I am pleased to have been involved in a number of successes in our city:
1. Community Center
a. Although I voted against the final plan for the Community Center because I felt the cost was too great for the square footage of the facility, the design with the two large buildings and smaller activities rooms was my idea.
2. Measure P/A/K for Public Safety
3. Construction of new Schools
a. I supported the School District bonds which have enabled the construction of a new high school, junior high, and two elementary schools.
4. County Courthouse
a. As Mayor Pro Tem, I held the gavel as the State Administrative Office of the Courts brought us our new, State-of-the-art Courthouse. We had many challenges, and I spent many hours on the phone to keep that project on track. Getting it moved from the original Mercey Springs location also enabled the school district to build a new, low cost school, which now serves over 400 students.
5. Measure H, which has provided greatly increased public safety funding, along with funding for a vastly expanded recreation program with a full time professional recreation director, finally making full use of our Community Center.
6. New Fire Training Tower
7. New Police Station
8. Pacheco/Pioneer Corridor complete Streets Project.
9. Improved infrastructure for water, wastewater, and transportation.
10. Development agreements for future projects.
For all my time as councilmember and mayor, we always strived to keep our own money at home, balance our growth, and, through community engagement, to solve our own problems.
May God bless Los Banos now and in the future.
Mayor of the City of Los Banos
Asked about Faria’s resignation at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Mayor Pro Tem Ken Lambert said, “I just heard about that 35-to-45 minutes ago from the city manager formerly informing me.”
“I called the city attorney to confirm it and he did,” Lambert added.
“Once, he’s no longer a resident that means he vacates his seat,” Lambert explained. “I’ll meet with the city manager on Tuesday to get filled in where we go from here.”
The acting mayor as of Saturday, who will run next Wednesday’s council meeting, Lambert said he would serve until the new mayor is seated, following the November election.
Asked if he would consider appointing Paul Llanez, the only candidate running for mayor, to the position, Lambert said, “I’m going to run that by the city manager and the city attorney when I meet with them on Tuesday. I don’t know if we can appoint if we don’t have enough votes.”
An appointment requires the votes of three council members out of the four remaining.
Asked if he knows where the mayor moved, Lambert said he doesn’t. “I’ve heard Tracy, Patterson, Chowchilla.”
When reached for comment, Llanez said, “I just want to wish Tom the best in his retirement and the next chapter of his life for him and his family.”
Asked if he would be open to be being appointed mayor at the council meeting following next Wednesday’s, he said, “If the opportunity presents itself, I would relish the opportunity to get in there early and get to work.”
An effort to reach Faria for additional comment asking him why, now and where he moved to was unsuccessful prior to publication time.
9/17/22 UPDATE: District 2 Councilman Refugio LLamas said on Saturday morning, “The sooner we can get Mr. Llanez seated the better. Citizens deserve to know the council is working on their behalf and their government is operating. The sooner we can get to the next stage the better for all. We need someone there, right away. Any pressing issues like public safety, fire, water, these are all long-term issues which must be addressed in order to ensure the well-being of our citizens.”
LLamas later also wrote, “The council should seek direction from the city attorney and act in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances in filling the vacancy created by Mr. Faria’s departure.”