An era ended Tuesday for one Murrieta city councilman, while the remaining council—plus one new member—position themselves to carry on.
Doug McAllister, who was involved in Murrieta city government for 12 years and served the last eight as a councilman, was recognized during what would be his last city council meeting as an elected official.
“The decision not to run again was a hard one,” said McAllister, as he gave his parting words. “I made this choice because it was the right one for me at this time.”
His main reason for not seeking re-election, he said, was to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He is also focusing on growing his consulting business.
“You are always my first lady,” he said to his wife, Miriam, noting that for 12 of the 17 years they have been married he has been a public official. “It is her turn—my family’s turn.”
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone made an appearance at the meeting, which was followed by a reception.
“Murrieta is a better place today because of the leadership of Doug McAllister,” Stone said, as he presented the outgoing mayor with a plaque from the Board of Supervisors.
Though confidence in McAllister may have waned in years past—there was a recall effort in 2006 that sought to have him and others booted out of office—the outgoing mayor noted he had since gained the respect of many of those who sought to unseat him.
He went on to be re-elected in 2008 by an unprecedented vote.
“This job was never about me,” McAllister said to the citizens. “It was about occupying a seat that honored you.”
He said he always believed Murrieta was the “Future of Southern California.”
“Whether that actually ever happens is now up to you,” he said to the remaining council members.
Council Members Accept New Roles
Rick Gibbs is taking over as mayor of Murrieta for 2013, while Kelly Bennett will serve as mayor pro tem. Alan Long will enter his third year on the council.
Also on Tuesday, Randon Lane was sworn in for his second four-year term, and newly-elected Harry Ramos took his oath of office.
Lane thanked the voters for re-electing him.
“What the voters have said is they like the direction the city of Murrieta is going,” Lane said. “The city is going in a good direction not because of me but because of the team we have up here on the city council...I am very proud to be on this council, I am proud to be re-elected.”
Ramos, whose 10 years as a U.S. Marine ended last week, said he was honored to continue to serve his country in the new capacity.
He promised to uphold the U.S. Constitution while making decisions as a council member, and to stand for the will of the people he represents.
“I will do my very best,” Ramos said, thanking those who showed faith in him with their votes.
McAllister left council members a last word of advice.
“Resist the majority mindset,” McAllister said. “Please celebrate your differences, don’t use them as an opportunity to divide but an opportunity to learn.”