An overflow crowd at the Greer Garson Theatre witnessed the beginning of a new era in Santa Fe’s rich history, as Javier Gonzales was sworn in as the City Different’s new mayor Monday night.
Former Supreme Court Justice Patricio M. Serna did the honors of reading the oath of office. Before he did, he assured the audience that the Gonzales administration would serve transparently and with integrity.
“Because that is his nature. That is his character,” Serna said.
After repeating the oath, Gonzales received a standing ovation and then thanked his two children — who stood by his side — his brothers, mother and father, the latter former Santa Fe mayor George Gonzales.
He then gave a seven-minute speech that ended with another standing ovation.
Gonzales told the crowd that he came before them not as Santa Fe’s new mayor, but as a member of the community. It would be his job to continue to help move the city forward, he said.
“I’m here as one link in a 400-year chain of people with a frontier spirit devoted to building something special,” he said.
Gonzales said the city’s greatest resource was its people and acknowledged his opponents in the mayoral race, City Councilors Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas, as well as outgoing councilors Rebecca Wurzburger and Chris Calvert, and his predecessor, David Coss, who he called a role model.
Gonzales said he wanted to continue to carry the torch on many of the issues Coss advocated for, including immigration, working on behalf of the poor, and gay rights, promising the city would never turn its back on issues pertaining to human rights.
He said he would work to promote early childhood education, issues benefiting the city’s younger population, affordable housing and environmental stewardship, while not neglecting basic services from public safety to clean streets.
Finally, he encouraged the citizens of Santa Fe to be engaged in their community and work together to make it a better place.
“We are links in a 400-year chain, and with that comes a responsibility to strengthen that chain, prepare the next link and its survival for the next 400 years,” he said. “As with those who came before us, we will not be judged by what we win but by what we build for the next generation.”
Also sworn into office were newly elected City Councilors Signe Lindell and Joseph Maestas, as well as Carmichael Dominguez and Ron Trujillo, who won reelection.
The entire governing body will formally begin working together Wednesday when they convene for a City Council meeting beginning at 5 p.m.