Hanford City Council has been reorganized and a new mayor and vice mayor have been named.
At Tuesday night’s Council meeting at the Civic Auditorium, Councilmember Diane Sharp (District C) was named Hanford’s new mayor while Councilmember Kalish Morrow (District B) was named vice mayor.
“I’m delighted and honored to serve this Council and the city of my birth as mayor,” Sharp said via email. “At Hanford High, many decades ago, I enjoyed participating in ‘Youth-in-Government’ and job shadowing on the Council dais, and now have been entrusted with the official gavel. Pretty cool.”
Sharp was voted in with the needed three of five votes from the Council, with councilmembers Art Brieno and outgoing mayor Francisco Ramirez abstaining. Brieno nominated Ramirez for another term as mayor.
“I abstain but congratulations, Diane,” Ramirez said during the process to laughs from those in attendance.
Both terms will run through the 2022 calendar year.
Sharp pointed out that it’s the Council’s job to set policy and it’s the work of City Manager Mario Cifuentez and his staff to implement those policies.
“The City is blessed to have Mario Cifuentez as City Manager,” Sharp said. “I’ve known a half dozen or more Hanford city managers through the years, and he is the best I’ve seen. A strong city manager can make a Council look good; and more vitally — be a great steward of taxpayer funds.”
Sharp, whose great-grandfather, Dan Cackler, was a City Councilman a century ago, said that she’s excited to get to work in the New Year, when she'll be strategizing with the rest of the Council on how best to serve the community of Hanford.
“Citizen engagement and helping people connect to their local government is important to me, so I will continue that work,” she said.
Morrow, nominated by Councilmember Amanda Saltray, was voted in by the council unanimously.
“I don’t know that Hanford has ever had women in both of those roles at the same time. So that’s neat,” Sharp said.
In other business, Council unanimously approved to enter into a contract with Integrated Avian Solutions to provide falconer services and continue to force the migration of the crow population from Downtown Hanford, for an amount not to exceed $55,600 for calendar year 2022.
The crow abatement program began in 2018.
Main Street Hanford will contribute $10,000 to the program.