ESCONDIDO — There was one change to the elected contingent in the city.
Douglas Shultz took the oath, along with Councilman Mike Morasco (District 4) and Councilwoman Olga Diaz (District 3), Wednesday at City Hall.
Morasco and Ken Hugins, who retired after 26 years of service, endorsed Shultz to become the next city treasurer.
As such, Shultz ran for the position and ran away from the field with 36.12 percent of the vote. Shultz volunteered in the treasurer’s office before opting to run for office.
All three were surrounded with friends and family as they formally took their positions.
“It was a great opportunity to volunteer … and get to know the nuts and bolts,” he said. “I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
Morasco, meanwhile, had two celebrations — first his swearing in, and then his mother’s 92nd birthday.
In addition, he had high praise for his challenger, local attorney Ingrid Rainey. Morasco said the two became friends over the course of the campaign, and noted how it is possible for two opposing candidates to not need to sling mud or try to destroy each other’s character in the process.
“It can be done, we proved it,” he added. “I would’ve voted for her, but we live in the same district.”
Morasco also thanked his wife, belatedly and to the laughter of the audience, noting she is “the best” campaign manager. The third term councilman, who was appointed in 2010 and re-elected in 2012, said 2017 will prove to be an exciting year for the city.
Diaz, meanwhile, was also flanked by family and praised her parents for instilling a strong work ethic. She defeated challenger Joe Garcia to win her third term.
She said she first ran years ago out of a sense of duty, which has continued for her subsequent campaigns. In addition, Diaz has won over many skeptics as her four colleagues are republicans, while she is the lone democrat.
Nevertheless, she joked the council would not be as fun without her presence, as she has not held back from expressing different and dissenting viewpoints. Morasco, during his speech, agreed.
“It’s a privilege to serve,” Diaz added. “I expect to work toward the common good.”
Finally, councilman John Masson was elected by the council to serve as deputy mayor for the next two years. Council members rotate every two years. Morasco previously served as deputy mayor.