"... This is with God's grace the first time since I have been an elected official, that I can tell you we have a damn good elected county board," Gonzales said during a swearing-in ceremony for herself and newly elected 1st and 3rd District Supervisors Robert Lovingood and James Ramos, respectively.
She believes the new board will be one sans animosity, special interests and hidden agendas. But more importantly, Gonzales believes strongly that the board, in its new configuration, will be one that can push the county forward without it having to take two steps back.
"I have every faith and can tell you that we now have a board that can communicate, that can discuss, disagree, and can arrive at a consensus by which thought has been processed, and opinions have been shared, and that the conclusion will be the benefit to the people," Gonzales said.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's honor guard opened Monday's ceremony with a presentation of the colors. Hillel Cohn, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino, delivered the opening invocation, praying that the county's top elected leaders, old and new, "never lose sight of the trust their fellow citizens have put in them" and that they never compromise their integrity.
Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren swore in Gonzales for her third term. Gonzales, a former Fontana councilwoman herself, was elected supervisor in 2004 and represents the county's fifth district, which includes the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto and Fontana and the unincorporated communities of Muscoy and Bloomington.
Former San Manuel tribal chairman James Ramos was sworn in by his father, James Ramos Sr. As Third District supervisor, Ramos will oversee the bulk of the East Valley, the Morongo Basin and other slices of the High Desert including the city of Barstow.
Ramos, 45, is a former trustee of the San Bernardino Community College District and recently resigned from that board to take his seat on the Board of Supervisors.
He said he will let his "moral compass" guide him as he works with his colleagues on the board to make the many important decisions that lie ahead.
"The road ahead will be challenging and exciting," Ramos said.
High Desert businessman Robert Lovingood was sworn in by his wife, Melanie. Lovingood will answer to constituents of the sprawling 1st District that encompasses much of the High Desert, including the cities of Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto, Needles and the town of Apple Valley.
Lovingood said the challenges and opportunities in the High Desert are great, but the same goals he is setting for his district he is also setting for the county as a whole. The first order of business out of his office will be an economic assessment of his district, once he hires a staff.
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