Escalon City Council members will gather for a regular session on Monday, Dec. 7 at City Hall on McHenry Avenue, a meeting that will see the swearing in of councilmen Jeff Laugero and David Bellinger.
Laugero, an incumbent and Bellinger, who filled in briefly when councilman Peter Krumeich was away on military duty, ran unopposed for the two available four-year terms on the council. Outgoing councilman Walt Murken did not seek re-election; his seat and that of Laugero were up for election.
Because they were unopposed, neither Laugero nor Bellinger appeared on the ballot and automatically earned the council seats. They will be sworn in during the Dec. 7 council session. Also at that time, a new Mayor will be appointed; current Mayor is Robert Swift. The city rotates the mayoral position among the council members.
Meanwhile, Escalon City Manager Tammy Alcantor said that though City Hall remains closed to the public as San Joaquin County is back in the Purple Tier, they are hoping to be able to allow family members to attend the swearing in, although with masks and social distancing required. On Monday afternoon, she said that could also change, based on the possibility of a ‘stay at home’ order for purple tier counties, if one is issued between now and the council meeting.
They had also been looking to re-open the doors to city offices open by now, as the county was in the red tier for a few weeks and hoped to advance further, but the move back to purple put that on hold as well.
“City Hall is not back open. We still encourage appointments but will assist if someone comes without an appointment,” Alcantor explained. “The yellow tier is when offices are open, but we will continue to evaluate as time goes on.”
At an earlier meeting, the council considered a resolution to allow Alcantor to submit a park and recreation project for grant funds allocated to the City from Prop. 68.
“The total amount of eligible funds is $182,571. The project has not been identified but staff is suggesting the replacement of the bathrooms at Hogan-Ennis Park,” noted Alcantor. “I did not receive direction on the project at this time. I will be bringing the item back to the Council after the first of the year.”