Williams City Council swears in three members; City honors outgoing mayor

Councilman John Troughton presents outgoing councilman Charles Bergson with a commemoratory plaque.

Recently reelected incumbents Santos Jauregui and Alfred Sellers, along with city council newcomer Sajit Singh, were sworn at the beginning of the Williams City Council meeting on Dec. 12.

Williams City Clerk Mariana Pineda administered the oath of office to each individually. All three will serve four-year terms.

Sellers returns for a third term on the Williams City Council after first being elected as a write-in candidate in 2010. Jauregui is back for a second term, having initially been voted onto the council in 2014. Prior to that, he had served as the city’s treasurer. 

Singh, the newcomer on the council who previously served on the city’s planning commission, received the most votes out of any Williams City Council candidate in the Nov. 6 General Election. He takes the place of outgoing councilman Charles Bergson, who was elected to the council in 2014. Prior to that, he served as the City Administrator and held the post of City Clerk. Bergson, Jauregui, and Sellers ran as a “united trio” in 2014, and did so again in 2018. Before Singh took Bergson’s place at the dais, councilman John Troughton presented Bergson with a plaque to commemorate his service to the city.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, the annual reorganization of the council put the gavel in Alfred Sellers’ hand for the second time in his tenure on the council. 

“I want to say thank you very much for the nomination,” Sellers said after assuming his seat at the middle of the dais. “I’ve been mayor before, but for some reason I’m nervous today. Maybe because I missed the last meeting.”

Sellers, still wearing a knee brace, missed the November meeting due to an injury.

Roberto Mendoza was tapped to serve as the Mayor Pro-Tem. Jauregui made the motion to appoint Sellers and Mendoza to their respective positions. Mendoza seconded the motion. Jauregui, who served as Mayor Pro-Tem over the past year, said that due to his work commitments, he felt he would be unable to fulfill the duties that come with the role of mayor. As a result, he said, he did not intend to serve as Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem this year.

“At this point, I would like to thank the City of Williams for allowing me to be Mayor Pro-Tem, but at this time, I’ve made the decision not to be a mayor because of my outside responsibilities and my employment. I don’t want to take something on that I know I’m not going to have the time to spend, attending meetings as a mayor should attend. So, I’m going to nominate Alfred Sellers as Mayor, and Mayor Pro-Tem Roberto Mendoza.”

Singh, in his first act as a city council member, made an opposing motion to appoint John Troughton as Mayor, with Sellers serving as Mayor Pro-Tem. 

“I would like to nominate John Troughton as Mayor, being the most senior member, as well as the one that has the most service in the town and the county,” Singh said. “Especially me being someone very new, I would like to be able to see meetings conducted under someone with that much experience.”

Singh’s motion failed, with Jauregui, Mendoza and Sellers voting no. Jauregui’s motion carried, with the same trio voting in favor of it.■

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.