The following is excerpted from a copyrighted story written by Ellen Findell for The Monitor in San Juan, Texas.
|Janie Sanchez, Mayor of San Juan|
Janie Sanchez has been a long-time Oblate Associate in San Juan. Those who attended the 2006 Oblate Associate National Gathering will remember that Janie Sanchez played the guitar for our liturgies. Those who attended the 2007 U, S. Province Convocation in Pittsburgh will remember her eloquent speech about her experience with Oblates. Several months ago the Provincial Council appointed two new members to the National Committee for Associate: Mr. Hermie Alignay from Chula Vista, California and San Juanita Sanchez.
– Geri Furmanek, National Director, Oblate Associates
SAN JUAN — The cheering and chanting was deafening Tuesday in Amigos del Valle as San Juanita Sanchez became mayor again.
Sanchez, who served in the seat from 2005 to 2008, took victory in the May 14 election over Lupe Rodriguez, a commissioner, by 92 votes. Her slate mates, however, lost their bids to Rodriguez’s allies, making Sanchez the lone voice for her party on the City Commission.
Several hundred people, mostly Sanchez supporters, crowded into the room to see her take office, along with incumbent Bob Garza and former Commissioner Luis Ramos.
“Mayor, talk about déjà vu, huh?” said outgoing Mayor Pedro Contreras, who unseated Sanchez after a close run-off in 2008.
“I congratulate the mayor on her election and look forward to working for her and with her,” Armando Garza, Newly-appointed Mayor Pro-Tem said. “We have a lot of healing to do in our city. We’re very polarized and fractured and that needs to change.”
Sanchez called for more transparency, vowing not to serve “in the shadows.” She spoke pointedly of the right to free speech and defended a recall petition effort that got six people arrested on fraud allegations. She criticized the commission for moving public comment to the last agenda item at meetings and sent a warning to city employees.
“A leader who governs his department by intimidation will have a short rule under this administration,” she said.
Sanchez’s supporters cheered loudly throughout the speech.
“I plan to be your eyes and your ears, but mostly your voice,” Sanchez said.