By Houston Van Nest
Special to the News
Newly-elected Mayor Ben Gomez had his first meet and greet with the San Benito Chamber of Commerce on July 19.
The mayor of two months was short for time Wednesday morning, but while he was in attendance, he shared a little bit about himself and what brought him to his current position. For him, it all began when he participated in the Citizens’ Academy program.
“I think it was a good program; I enjoyed it,” said Gomez. “I learned a lot from there.”
The Citizens’ Academy program educated participants about the inner workings of the municipal government. It was there that Gomez said he was inspired by then mayor Celeste Sanchez to run for office.
“Mayor Celeste said, ‘Anyone can run for this.’ So I said, ‘You know what? Maybe I will run,’” he added.
However, the 52 year old San Benito native stressed that his run wasn’t a personal attack against the former mayor.
“It was never personal,” Gomez said. “I didn’t run for the prestige of having a parking space or being called mayor. I don’t care for (any) of that.”
According to Gomez, he turned the mayor’s parking space into a veteran’s parking space, one of his examples of how he primarily ran because he wanted to make a difference in the city and its people.
“I’m here for the citizens of San Benito, and that’s why I ran,” he said. “I wanted to serve my community a bit better, step it up a notch.”
During the session, Gomez addressed the water concerns the city has by stating that plant No. 1 is working, but he couldn’t speak any further about it.
“You’ll be hearing something about it,” he stated.
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