Newly elected members of the Clovis City Council were sworn in at a special meeting on Monday, March. 27.
Former planning commissioner Vong Mouanoutoua and retired Clovis police captain Drew Bessinger were two of the new members who were sworn in.
While Mouanoutoua ran unopposed in the election on March 7, Bessinger defeated Paul Soares.
Mouanoutoua, who came to America from Laos at the age of 5, said he is grateful to be an American and he cherishes the opportunity to serve Clovis. “I look forward to keeping Clovis as a city where people work hand-in-hand to make it a safe place,” Mouanoutoua said.
Bessinger, 60, is taking the place of longtime Councilman Harry Armstrong, who resigned in October.
“This is an extraordinary event,” Bessinger said. “We have more effect in your daily lives than you know. It’s about about more than street pavement and trash pick up. The city council plans the future of your community. It’s really important to hear the voice of the citizens.”
Bessinger added that he will still seek the advice of Harry Armstrong.
“I hope for more sage advice from him,” Bessinger said.
Lynne Ashbeck, 62, was also sworn in on Monday. Running as an unopposed incumbent, Ashbeck earned her fifth four-year term on the council.
“This has little to do with us,” she said. ”It’s about the people that came before us, people like [Harry Armstrong]. They laid the ground for us.”
Ashbeck hopes to continue that legacy and to continue making Clovis a united community.
“It takes all of us,” she said. “Everybody makes a difference. That’s why we have a great city.”
The reorganized Clovis City Council now includes Bob Whalen as Mayor, Bessinger as Mayor Pro Tem and the three council members (Ashbeck, Jose Flores, Mouanoutoua).
“We have no interest in changing Clovis. We have an interest in growing Clovis,” Whalen said. “We have wisdom from the community that loves one another. We will listen to what you have to say.”