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(Left) Mayor Jenny Crosswhite (Right) Vice Mayor Ginger Gherardi

Mayor Crosswhite, Vice Mayor Gherardi might be record book pairing

December 09, 2016
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula City Council might have made a move for the record books when women were elected to serve as mayor and vice mayor.

Vice Mayor Jenny Crosswhite and Councilwoman Ginger Gherardi — both are two-year council veterans — were selected Mayor and Vice Mayor respectively —and unanimously — at the December 5 meeting. 

Incumbent Martin Hernandez and newcomer Clint Garman were also sworn in for four-year council terms. 

Crosswhite, pastor of First Christian Church, is the first woman mayor since 2004 when Mary Ann Krause served. The middle seat and gavel denoting the largely ceremonial role are rotated on an annual basis. The mayor also conducts meetings and is considered the “Face of the City” on a local, county and statewide basis.

Councilman John Procter nominated Crosswhite and was seconded by Gherardi.

Crosswhite’s first duty was presenting a plaque with the gavel used by outgoing Mayor Hernandez. 

“It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to continuing to work with you,” she noted.

And Crosswhite added that a top priority of her term would be streets: “One think I hear a lot about is the potholes, the cracks in the street, I’ll continue to work on that — it bothers me as much as it does you.”

She said a book she is reading is For the Love of Cities: A Love Affair between People and their Places by Peter Kageyama, which has offered many insights.

“If you go to a restaurant,” there are many factors to judge it on, ranging from the cleanliness of the place setting to the quality and taste of the food.

“We are absolutely going to continue to fix the streets and sidewalks and I’m going to celebrate the day we get those railroad crossings done,” but Crosswhite urged residents to get involved to improve Santa Paula overall.

“I invite us to dream again, we are an amazing city with amazing people. I want to invite us to imagine the city that we can be. Us sitting up here, we are going to work on getting those infrastructure things and those basic nuts and bolts worked on, but” noted Crosswhite, “its going to take all of us coming together, falling in love with our place — not just living in our place — but falling in love with our place that is going to make this city be all that it can be.”

Procter also nominated Gherardi as Vice Mayor, seconded by Hernandez, and she was also unanimously selected.

“It’s an honor to be selected by my fellow councilmembers,” said Gherardi. “I really look forward to a great year,” especially with the voter’s passage of Measure T, the 1-cent sales tax that’s expected to raise $2.1 million annually for the city.

Gherardi said the revenue will help with “so many things that have to be done” including public safety, youth and infrastructure needs. 

“It’s going to be a great year,” she noted, “and I really look forward to working with all of you.”

Procter congratulated Crosswhite and noted her hard council work: “You and Ginger are going to make a great team…”

Hernandez said he looks forward to working with “both of you…if you have any questions or resources you need,” he will always be available.

Newly elected Garman said he is also looking forward to working with Crosswhite and Gherardi as well as staff and City Attorney John Cotti.