Long-time public safety commissioner to replace former council member

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Photo of City Hall courtesy of city of Paramount

The newest member of the Paramount City Council will be sworn into office on at the 5 p.m., Tuesday, July 16 council meeting.

The Paramount City Council voted 3-1 last week, July 2, to appoint Brenda Olmos to serve out the remainder of Diane Martinez’s term. Martinez recently retired. Councilmember Laurie Guillen cast the dissenting vote. “No on the process,” Guillen said.

Mayor Tom Hansen said he had done an independent investigation of the potential council members.

Olmos was selected by Mayor Tom Hansen based on her background, which included 14 years on the Paramount Public Safety Commission and being a past member of the Chamber of Commerce. When Hansen read her name to the public, some members of the audience applauded.

According to a July 3 press release posted on the city’s website, Olmos is a Paramount native, meaning she was born here.

“Olmos founded the year-long ‘Healthy Paramount’ initiative, was President of the Paramount Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the recent Paramount Heritage Parade Committee, and was given the Elk’s Distinguished Citizen Award in 2018,” according to the statement.

Guillen, however, had objected to the decision made at the previous council meeting to select a successor for Martinez without an application process or a special election.

Guillen said she agreed that Olmos had a lot of experience and told Olmos that she should be proud of herself for the things she had done for the community.

Earlier in the meeting, Guillen said, “The community as a whole continues to be shut out when we don’t take an application and treat everybody the same.”

Four members of the public addressed the council before Hansen announced his decision.

One man indicated that he felt it would be irresponsible to spend a large sum of money to appoint someone for a short period of time. “These people were elected to make this decision,” he said.

However, some members of the public objected. Another man asked why the city wouldn’t have an appointment process. He asked if the new council member would be a member of the community or another member of the Chamber of Commerce. Another man compared the city government to the political party that dominated the government in Mexico for more than 70 years.

Olmos’ appointment was the last of 12 items on the council agenda. The meeting lasted about 1 hour and 9 minutes. For details visit the City of Paramount channel on YouTube.