New council sworn in

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By David Giuliani

A new mayor and City Council members are now on the job, and they’ll take part in their first meeting today.

Alfonso Ortiz, who officially swore in after a canvassing of votes last Wednesday, took the ceremonial oath of office before a crowd of around 200 people at the Plaza Hotel on Monday night.  He replaced Tony Marquez, who didn’t run in last week’s election.

Swearing in as council members were Tonita Gurule-Giron for Ward 1 and David Romero for Ward 4. They join Ward 2’s Diane Moore and Ward 3’s Andrew Feldman, both of whose terms expire in 2012.

This is the first time in Las Vegas’ history that two women have served on the council at the same time.

Also on Monday, Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo, who has served since the early 1990s, swore into a new term in office. For the first time, he ran unopposed.

Ortiz, the San Miguel County treasurer, told the audience that if the city does something good, the entire council should get the credit. And if bad things happen, he should get the blame, he said.

He also said city employees should treat all customers as if they were mayors, council members and judges.

“If they have a bad day, I’d rather that we are mistreated, not the customers,” Ortiz said.  

Ortiz, a former educator and Highlands University professor, pointed to various people in the room as his former students, including Councilman David Romero.

In her speech, Gurule-Giron noted that her family took up several tables in the Plaza ballroom.

“This victory is not solely my victory. It’s a victory I share with the people,” said Gurule-Giron, who will represent Las Vegas’ northwest side.

David Romero, whose ward makes up Las Vegas’ southwest side, said the election brought in fresh blood to City Hall.

“I hope to move the city forward in many ways,” he said.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. today in the council’s chambers at City Hall.