Mayor Jose Flores has just announced he will not seek re-election for the November 8, 2022, Clovis City Council election. Mayor Flores was first elected in March 1999. I started working here in the City Manager’s office in January 2000 and worked closely with him for over twenty years. Considering his longevity with the City as Councilmember and Mayor, his departure will have a significant impact on our leadership team in the near term. Just to name a few accomplishments during his term in office, the City planned and built a surface water treatment plant, a water reuse facility, a new police and fire headquarters, a new public utilities facility, as well as an updated general plan. The population of the city has increased from less than 70,000 to over 122,000 during his tenure.
From Mayor Flores profile, his parents “… came to Clovis in 1956, as newlyweds and absolutely nothing to call their own. As new arrivals, they dedicated themselves to setting goals and working hard to achieve the American Dream. They soon had a small family and a small home to call their own. The young immigrant couple was welcomed and prospered in Clovis. Back then, Clovis was a small, safe, and clean town with a great school system. As a lifelong resident of Clovis, I believe it is the Council’s responsibility to embrace the history of our city and build on the legacy left by those who came before us.” I believe this quote captures who Mayor Flores is, where he comes from, and why he has dedicated over 40 years of public service to the Fresno County Sheriff’s office, State Center Community College District, and the Clovis City Council. Mayor Flores was also instrumental in establishing a very close relationship with Clovis Unified School District which is a major portion of Clovis’ overall success.
Additionally, Councilmember Bob Whalen is a judge-elect of the Superior Court of Fresno County in California. He will assume office on January 2, 2023. Whalen won election for judge of the Superior Court of Fresno County in California outright in the primary on June 7, 2022, after the general election was canceled. Councilmember Whalen was first elected to Clovis City Council in March 2003 and has nearly 20 years of experience on the City Council.
The loss of the two long-standing Councilmembers represents a loss of over forty years of experience on the dais here at City Hall. The last recent similar experience that impacted our leadership was the 2016 retirement of Councilmember Harry Armstrong after over 45 years of service to the City of Clovis. In 2017, the City lost over 60 years of experience on the dais when Councilmember Armstrong retired and Councilmember Nathan Magsig was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors representing District 5. In the March 2017 election, Councilmembers Drew Bessinger and Vong Mouanoutoua were elected and have served the City admirably. While the average number of years of experience on the dais will be less than what it was before, I am fully confident that the remaining three council members including Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Ashbeck who has served on the Council since 2001, and as the Mayor twice, will continue to lead our city successfully into the future.
The results of the November 8, 2022, election will likely be released toward the end of November or early December. As of today, the swearing in ceremony for the new City Council will be on Monday, December 5, 2022. The last meeting for both Mayor Flores and Councilmember Whalen will likely be Monday, November 14, 2022.
John Holt, City Manager
City of Clovis