New city councilmembers swearing in at the City Council meeting. Photo by John Ferritto
At the Ventura City Council meeting held on Dec.12 three “new” councilmembers Matt La Vere, Christy Weir and Cheryl Heitmann were sworn in for four-year terms. Matt La Vere is the brand new councilmember and Weir and Heitmann are returning members who were re-elected to a fourth and second term.
Per the city’s charter, the new members have to be sworn in after 8 p.m. so the council had to take a long break to wait until the appropriate time, a few minutes after 8 p.m.
La Vere, the top vote-getter (with over 23,000 votes) is a native Venturan whose grandparents moved here 70 years ago.
La Vere told the Breeze “To me, Ventura has always been a city of opportunity. It’s the reason my grandparents settled here nearly 70 years ago to raise their family. It’s the reason my parents returned here after college to raise their family. It’s the reason my wife and I have chosen to make our lives in Ventura. And it is precisely the reason why I am so excited about the future of this great city for my daughter, and your children and grandchildren.”
“I’m honored to have a voice on the council as we make the decisions today that will create the future Ventura we all desire: a safe and prosperous city with ample jobs for its citizens, a city that protects its open space while also providing housing that ordinary Venturans can afford, a city that advocates for its small businesses, and a city with clean and safe parks, trails and beaches. I cannot wait to begin work on fulfilling Ventura’s amazing potential, and to create a city that future Venturans will be proud to call home!”
Cheryl Heitmann stated “ Let me begin by welcoming Matt to the Council. Congratulations and I am looking forward to working with you. I want to begin by thanking my supporters, my campaign committee and my family. Your support during the campaign was invaluable. Also, a big thank you to all those who voted for me. I am honored by your support and confidence in me and I take this obligation very seriously.”
“And to our city staff, it is not always easy to be a public servant, but I want the citizens of Ventura to know that we have a very professional and dedicated staff who care about this city and work hard to make it the best. It is a pleasure to work with you.”
“And to my Colleagues on the council, I appreciate our collegial collaboration and I am looking forward to the next 4 years.”
“I also want to thank the voters for Measure O. It is never easy to vote to raise taxes but I think the passage of measure O shows the majority of our residents share the council’s vision of providing more for our city.”
“My priorities in the next 4 years are:
- Economic Development, supporting our local businesses and working to create additional jobs.
- Services for Seniors and supported housing for Veterans
- A safe and sustainable water supply so that we can continue to grow but do it in a responsible and sustainable manner.
- Adequate funding to meet our core services including public safety as well as our aging infrastructure
- And most importantly continued Engagement and partnership with this incredible community.”
“I look forward to serving on this council for the next 4 years and once again thank you for re-electing me. I want you to know that I will work very hard on your behalf.”