In a Visalia City Council Special meeting Wednesday, December 7, new and returning city council members were sworn in.
Before the ceremony Vincent Salinas thanked retiring Greg Collins for his service on the council. All the recently elected members thanked their supporters and pointed out family members cheering them on in the audience.
“Thanks for having faith in me and not kicking me out!” returning council member Liz Wynn said.
Visalia City Council Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 were up for reelection.
Wynn was appointed to replace the late Phil Cox’ in District 1 in June of 2021 and proceeded to win her first election against two challengers this November 8. District 1 was a short term seat and Wynn will have to run again in 2024 if she wants to retain her seat.
District 2, Council member Brett Taylor’s seat, will also be on the ballot in 2024.
Council member Brian Poochigian won reelection in District 3 and Former Mayor Steve Nelsen retained his District 5 seat.
The newest city council member, Emmanuel Soto, beat out two challengers to take District 4 left vacant by former Council member Greg Collins. Soto is only the second Hispanic to ever be elected to the Visalia City Council and brings needed youth to the governing body.
Jesus Gamboa, the only other Hispanic elected to Visalia City Council and former mayor, was on hand to watch the swearing in and congratulate Soto.
After certifying the election results, the council conducted their reorganization, appointing Council Member Brian Poochigian to the office of Mayor and Council Member Brett Taylor to the office of Vice Mayor.
Chief Deputy City Clerk Michelle Nicholson then invited newly elected Council Members Wynn, Poochigian, Soto, and Nelsen to the floor of the chambers, where the Oath of Office was administered for their new terms.