BELLFLOWER — County Supervisor Don Knabe administered the oath of office to new City Councilman Juan Garza June 27.
Garza, a former planning commissioner, was appointed to the City Council June 14 to fill the remaining term of retiring Councilman Scott Larsen.
Larsen cast the deciding vote, with Mayor Dan Koops and Councilman Ray Dunton picking Garza over Victor Sanchez, the other finalist out of a field of nine applicants. Mayor Pro Tem Ron Snablegger and Councilman Sonny Santa Ines voted for Sanchez, a 2008 graduate of Bellflower High School who is active in volunteer work.
Both Sanchez and Garza are expected to seek terms in the March 2017 municipal election.
If residents Nov. 8 vote to have Bellflower elect council members by district and if Garza is elected in 2017, he would be running against Dunton, who appointed him to the Planning Commission, in 2020.
Both Garza and Dunton live in what would be District 5.
“I will proudly represent the city of Bellflower,” said Garza, who is a school teacher and a consultant in a 25-year career which included a stint in the U.S. Army and then National Guard. He earned his master’s degree in public relations at Cal State Long Beach.
“I will put my years of experience to work for you,” Garza promised residents, adding that public safety and economic development will be his main concerns.
Garza and his wife, Mayra, have three sons, Juan Jr, 17; Benjamin, 9; and Daniel, 7.