Editor's note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated when Bobby Martinez was elected to the Port Hueneme City Council. He was elected in 2020.
Mayor Pro Tem Richard W. Rollins was chosen by the Port Hueneme City Council to be the city's next mayor on Monday.
Rollins has been on the City Council since 2018, with a reelection slated for next year, and will serve one year as mayor. He replaces Councilman Steven Gama as mayor, who remains on the council.
In Port Hueneme, the mayor and vice mayor are selected annually by fellow council members. The mayor serves as the ceremonial head of the city who presides over City Council meetings.
“I have learned a lot in the past few years to better understand the goals and the styles of our fellow councilpersons,” Rollins said. “This will help guide me in my new duties as mayor. As you have seen, our council has a wide variety of views on subjects, but this is a healthy thing.”
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Rollins moved to Port Hueneme about 13 years ago after retiring from a 23-year career with the city of Santa Monica, according to the city's website. He has used his background in managing community services and recreation programs to found a local youth tennis program, help create the Hueneme Community Garden, develop the city’s pickleball courts and form the Recreation Education Arts Culture in Hueneme program.
Councilman Bobby Martinez was also chosen as mayor pro tempore during the yearly reorganization meeting. Martinez was elected to the council in November 2020 and is up for reelection in 2024.
Martinez, who has lived in Port Hueneme since he was 5, graduated from Hueneme High School and earned an associates degree from Ventura College, according to the city's website. He later transferred to UC Santa Barbara to study mathematics, but returned to Ventura County to receive his teaching credentials from CSU Channel Islands.
Martinez has been teaching for Oxnard Union High School District for about seven years and has also taught algebra and biostatistics at CSUCI.
“I watched Councilman Martinez over the years kind of have this calming effect,” Councilwoman Laura D. Hernandez said. “He approaches things in a very fair and equitable way when it comes to making decisions. He provides a balance on the City Council, which I’ve enjoyed.”
In other City Council action:
The Port Hueneme City Council on Tuesday also voted to keep meeting virtually for the next month. The council cited the omicron variant of COVID-19 and the rising cases of the virus in Ventura County for their decision.
The City Council made the switch from in-person to virtual meetings in October due to concerns over the pandemic.
Every 30 days, the City Council has to vote whether to continue meeting virtually by acknowledging a social distancing recommendation from local health officials or determining the pandemic still poses an imminent threat, according to City Attorney Kevin Spaulding.
Brian J. Varela covers Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo. He can be reached at email@example.com or 805-477-8014. You can also find him on Twitter @BrianVarela805.
This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Richard Rollins to serve as Port Hueneme's next mayor