May 12 2017

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The start of a new era: Ben Gomez to take over as Mayor on Tuesday

By Pete Banda
Managing Editor

In what would qualify as a bit of a political surprise, citizens here voted for a change, electing San Benito native and SBCISD Parent Educator Ben Gomez as their new Mayor in the latest election. The vote, which resulted in Gomez garnering 1,108 votes to current Mayor Celeste Sanchez’s 916, signifies the end of the only term for a female Mayor in the history of the Resaca City. In Gomez, the City is getting a “third generation public servant” and someone who can relate to most citizens in the City.
“I see all our neighboring cities grow and all these businesses coming in around us, but nothing seems to be coming here,” said Gomez. “I feel like we have been in a rut for a long time and it’s time for a change. I ran for Mayor because I felt a change was needed and I’m excited to have a chance to be that change.”
This is the first time Gomez has ever run for a public office and he believes his background in serving the community will aid him as he prepares for his first term in office. In addition to his 12 years with the school district, Gomez has volunteered at the local head start for more than 20 years.
While the results of the election would serve as a shock to many, there are those who were waiting on the changing of the guard. For Hector Sanchez, a 27-year-old San Benito native, the writing was on the wall.
“I think everyone just got tired of the lack of growth and constant bad choices,” said Sanchez. “I don’t think all that blame could be put on the Mayor, but at the same time it’s the top position in the City. I think this signifies a desire for change more than a desire for a new Mayor.”
Another lifelong San Benito resident, 44-year-old Jason Montez, called the results a wake-up call to other elected officials.
“It’s all about change,” stated Montez. “The citizens see that no new businesses are coming in, we have countless empty buildings downtown and we seem to continue spending our money on senseless things. Now we’ll see if change really will come. If not, we know the problems go deeper than just one position.”
The results of the election will not be official until the votes are canvassed on Tuesday. Immediately following the canvassing, commissioners will officially swear in Gomez and the other new members of the Commission. For all the discord among citizens, Gomez is entering office with multiple projects already underway. In addition to the impending AEP building coming to town, the City also expects the new museum to be ready to go before the ends. The Mayor’s Prayer breakfast also turned into a rather popular event under Mayor Sanchez.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2017/05/12/the-start-of-a-new-era-ben-gomez-to-take-over-as-mayor-on-tuesday/

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