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Bob Allen is the executive director of the Selma District Chamber of Commerce.

As I was reading some History about early elected officials in Selma, I decided I would like to see who actually served as Mayor over the years in Selma. 

The first indication of having served as the ‘Mayor” in Selma was in Feb. 18, 1893.   After the Fresno County Supervisors called for an election to determine if Selma would become the county’s second city — Fresno was the first, a nominating committee selected the candidates for offices.  The election was held and the votes were tallied, Selma became the second city in Fresno County.   Articles of Incorporation were submitted to Sacramento on March 15, 1893. 

On March 24, 1893, Selma city government began.    Justice of the Peace  E.W. Weare gave the oath of office to those elected, who immediately selected William Pannill Graham as president, a position akin to being the City’s first mayor.  He died in office on December 3, 1893.  The following are those who over the last 128 years have served in the role of Mayor.  How many do you remember?

12/21/1893-C. Bachtold               

4/16/1894 Dr.J.F.Burns                      

1/21/1896 C. Bachtold

4/18/1898 T.R. Brewer              

4/16/1900 J.J. Vandderburgh                

4/21/1902 J.M. Byrne

4/20/1914 W.C. Freeland             

4/15/1912 H.J. Lohman 

4/20/1914 M. Vincent

4/17/1916 Edward Poulson   

4/19/1920 Luther Jones (resigned)   

 1/10/1921 Paul Nordstrom (resigned)

 2/07/1921 Luther Jones

4/21/1930 Dr. R.A. Groshong          

4/20/1932 W.H.  Dewhurst

4/16/1934 P. Andy Nielsen           

4/20/1936 G. Paul Vincent               

4/18/1938 Dr. Carl Byrne

4/15/1940 Elmer Basye 

4/20/1948 Jack James                     

4/17/1952 Stuart Haseltine (resigned)

1/11/1954 Robert Jensen             

4/20/1954 Paul J. Nielsen                    

4/15/1958 Lloyd Ghilardi

4/19/1960 Ray Bollin                     

4/17/1962 Lloyd Ghilardi                     

4/17/1966 John Howard

4/15/1980 Emma Jensen              

4/20/1982 Ben Fry                                

4/17/1984 Larry Fitzpatrick

11/25/1986 Pat Helm                    

12/05/1988 Robert Kenyon                 

12/03/1990 James Brockett

12/07/1992 Robert Allen              

12/05/1994 Ralph Garcia                       

12/04/1998 Michael Derr

12/16/2002 Dennis Lujan              

12/20/2004 Don Tow (died in office 7/25/2008)     

12/15/2008 Dennis Lujan

12/06/2010 Ken Grey (resigned 7/2014)    

 12/1/2014 Scott Robertson              

12/05/2016 Michael Derr

New Ordinance created an annual rotation of the city council members to be Mayor.

12/04/2017 Jim Avalos (annual rotation)  12/10/2018

Scott Robertson (annual rotation)

12/02/2019 Louis Franco (annual rotation)            

New Ordinance for elected Mayor passed.

12/07/2020 Scott Robertson (first elected Mayor)

The Selma Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all those who were willing to serve Selma as Mayor.

The Selma Chamber of Commerce again thanks Randy McFarland for the History of Selma in, “Centennial Selma: A Biography of a California Community’s First 100 Years." We would also like to thank Reyna Rivera, City Clerk, for the information regarding the Mayors of Selma.

Bob Allen is the Executive Director of the Selma Chamber of Commerce.

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