Editor, Ceres Courier,
Recently-departed former Ceres City Councilman Guillermo Ochoa accomplished too much to have passed away so early in life. Guillermo holds the proud duo distinction of being the first appointed and first elected Latino Ceres councilmember. He also performed a valuable role as a member of the StanCOG Policy Board.
As Guillermo's campaign manager during two election cycles, we became best amigos. He was a strong community advocate for all citizens, and was considering running for another local post.
A staunch fiscal watchdog, he favored zero new taxes and less government spending. It is also to Guillermo's credit he desired the future Ceres Eastgate park to be named after the civic-minded Phipps family, owners of River Oaks Golf Course.
The councilman's 2011 contest defeat was mainly due to extra time taken to finance and build his successful new Empire grocery store (Garcia's Market). Otherwise, opponent Daniel Padilla wouldn't have detrimentally split the vote.
Guillermo Ochoa's legacy relevantly lives on through his established policy decisions, and through his family's store that continues to produce economic vitality. Much like the beautiful mariachi band that performed at his final mass, everything he did worked in concert with an upbeat rhythm and harmonious spirit.
(Editor's note: Just for the sake of clarification, Guillermo Ochoa was not the first Latino to serve on the Ceres City Council. Years before him were Louie Arrollo and Lisa Mantarro Moore).