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Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia discusses past dismissal, future endeavors for Wasco

Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 01, 2024
  • On Dec. 19, the Wasco City Council unanimously voted to re-appoint Alex Garcia to serve as the city's mayor. Garcia's previous tenure as the city's mayor ended early after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor as the result of a traffic stop where it was alleged that Garcia was driving under the influence.
  • In a conversation with 23ABC, Garcia made note of his past issues but said he has made strides to better himself as a person. Garcia also touched on what he feels were his successes as mayor previously and what ambitions he has for the city during his current tenure.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

At the most recent Wasco City Council meeting, there was a lot to get to. The council approved a $4.2 million bid for a downtown renovation project, they pinned badges on newly minted members of the police department, and they appointed their new mayor, but it’s a familiar face that saw their term end early years ago.

Alex Garcia made headlines several years ago being the first openly LGBT elected official in Kern County while making strides to benefit the community.

“I made sure that I built relationships with our faith community — our faith leaders because people don't always trust their mayor, people don't always trust the council members, but they typically trust their faith leaders. And so if we can build connections with those trusted — trusted community members, trusted voices, we can better understand what's happening on the ground and what people want,” said Garcia.

In previous reporting by 23ABC, Garcia spawned controversy for himself in Wasco after pleading no-contest to a misdemeanor offense stemming from a traffic stop where it was alleged he was driving under the influence.

Shortly after that, the city council voted to remove Garcia from his mayorship.

“Being pulled over for drinking and driving was exactly the reason why it happened. And I will tell you right here first and openly that I was misguided initially, I blamed it on that. And I have grown up a lot in the years since I've learned a lot,” said Garcia. "What happened, happened. I faced the consequences, that was removal from my position and we moved forward."

In December, Garcia was re-appointed unanimously to become the city’s mayor for a second time. Now with time and life experience under his belt, Garcia says he’s looking forward to staying ambitious about Wasco’s future

“I look forward to being able to make the best of all these resources and making sure that the new police department is successful. That's priority one. In addition to that, we have a lot more economic development that we have not only in the pipeline, but to go after."

Garcia’s newest term began on December 19th, when he was appointed at the Wasco City Council meeting.


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