Jeff Hewitt took over as Calimesa’s mayor Monday by a unanimous vote after outgoing Mayor Joyce McIntire declined a nomination at the city council meeting.
It will be Hewitt’s first time as mayor. The other four council members have all served as mayor. Hewitt was elected to the city council in 2010.
“I’m looking forward to helping guide Calimesa through challenging, yet exciting times, holding down the cost of living while attracting businesses in a prosperous way,” Hewitt said the next day.
“I hope to do the city proud.”
After Councilman Bill Davis nominated Hewitt, Councilwoman Ella Zanowic nominated McIntire for a second year.
“Thank you Ella. It’s been a wonderful year. I’ve had a wonderful time, representing the residents, the city, the council. But at this time, I’m going to have to decline the nomination,” McIntire said.
Councilman Jim Hyatt then nominated Zanowic to serve a second year as mayor pro tem. Hyatt said it was kind of traditional in Calimesa for both the mayor and mayor pro tem to serve two consecutive years.
However, that didn’t seem to matter to the other council members, who voted for McIntire as mayor pro tem after she was nominated by Hewitt.
McIntire will serve as mayor pro tem after receiving three votes to Zanowic’s two votes.
Following those decisions, the new mayor announced his appointments of chair and vice chair to regional agencies. There are several appointments, but the one that seemed to take some council members by surprise was Hewitt’s appointment of McIntire to chair of the Riverside Transportation Agency (RTA).
Zanowic had served seven years on the Riverside Transportation Agency and was set to be its chairwoman in 2016. However because she was not appointed by Hewitt, she will not be able to serve as chairwoman.
After hearing Hewitt appoint McIntire to the RTA, Zanowic said, “I’m going to be chair next year.”
“I am appointing Joyce, and I will be the alternate,” Hewitt said in reply.
Later, Zanowic questioned Hewitt’s appointments to RTA.
“As someone said in the recent past, we’re going in a different direction,” he said.
“I’m not sure what he was talking about there,” Zanowic said the next day. “I thought we were going in a pretty good direction.”
With all of the appointments complete, city council voted to approve them and ad hoc committee members.
They were approved by a 3-2 vote.
Hewitt, McIntire and Davis voted in favor of the appointments, while Zanowic and Hyatt voted against them.