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Board's newest members pledge hard work, open door policies

 

Last updated 1/8/2019 at 5:09pm



RIVERSIDE - Riverside County's two newest supervisors were sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 8, vowing to work collaboratively with their colleagues for the good of the county and to make themselves available to constituents with concerns.

"It's not going to be easy or hard to govern with this group. But it's going to be a pleasure,'' Jeff Hewitt said after his swearing-in below the dais in the Board of Supervisors' chamber at the County Administrative Center.

"I'm sure we'll be diverse in how we attack problems,'' he said. "I guarantee you one thing: No matter how tough it gets or anything else, I will always give you 100 percent. I'll tell the truth the way I see it. We are going to see this county go on to greater things in the future.''

Hewitt, a longtime Calimesa city councilman who defeated Russ Bogh in the Nov. 6 general election, thanked now-retired Supervisor Marion Ashley for his service to the county's Fifth District, pointing him out in the audience and noting that there were many things "he's so good at'' from which the county is benefiting today.

"Everyone out there, make sure you get hold of our executive secretaries (with concerns or complaints). The door is going to always be open,'' Hewitt said. "We can't know what bothers you unless you tell us.''

Karen Spiegel, who defeated Eric Linder in November to represent the Second District seat left vacant by the retirement of John Tavaglione, also encouraged residents to come forward and communicate their wishes.

"If there's something you want to see happen, or not, please share,'' Spiegel said. "Help us succeed. We all have open doors, so please visit. If we don't hear from you, we'll move along the way we're already going. We need your help. I look forward to representing everyone in the district -- even those who didn't vote for me.''

Spiegel, who served multiple terms on the Corona City Council, acknowledged that Tavaglione "left some big shoes to fill.''

"I look forward to working from that foundation,'' she said. "We can go forward in a cohesive, constructive, positive direction. We're a team here, and I look forward to us working together.''

Board Chairman Kevin Jeffries, now the most senior member of the panel with six years under his belt, admitted that the 2019 board is a "very young'' one, but it wasn't the first time in history, and he felt optimistic about the road ahead.

Manuel Perez was also sworn in today to begin his first full term on the board, 18 months after being appointed to the position by Gov. Jerry Brown, Perez filled the Fourth District seat left vacant in the wake of John Benoit's death.

Perez cinched victory during the June primary election, after defeating Jan Harnik by a wide margin.

 

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