GRANDVIEW By a unanimous vote of five, the Grandview City Council selected Gloria Mendoza as the city’s new mayor to take the post after current Mayor Norm Childress resigns.
She will be the first female mayor in the city’s history.
The city advertised the position, allowing anyone interested in taking the position an opportunity to submit a letter of interest.
Mendoza and former City Councilwoman Jan McDonald were the only two interested.
At the Nov. 13 City Council meeting, Mendoza, currently a City Councilwoman, stated she was interested in the position. She told her fellow City Council members she had intentions of being a candidate for the seat in the next election.
Both Mendoza and Councilman Dennis McDonald, Jan McDonald’s husband, recused themselves when the City Council convened to discuss the qualifications of the two.
They also did not vote.
Accompanying her letter of interest, Mendoza submitted three endorsement letters. They were from attorney Rick Kimbrough, insurance agent Yerania Espindola and Grandview resident Kristy Roy.
Kimbrough cited Mendoza’s five years on the City Council and active role on the Economic Development Board, as well as her efforts to improve the community as reasons she would make a good mayor.
“Gloria is a proven leader,” Kimbrough said in his letter.
“She came to the City council with a dynamic vision of how Grandview can better serve the many needs of those in this community,” he said.
Espindola recognized Mendoza’s business acumen and commitment to making the city business friendly.
She said Mendoza is committed to economic development and community service.
“Her motivation and high skill set, as well as her ability to network and connect, propelled her to become the owner of several businesses in Grandview,” Roy said in her letter.
Mendoza’s leadership skills are her strength, Roy said.
“I’m excited,” Mendoza said of taking on the new role.
“I had the support of the whole council,” she said.
Knowing she wanted to run for election in the coming year, Mendoza said she was willing to take on the challenge when Childress steps away.
She said the coming year will give her a chance to show the community what she’s capable of, but it will also provide her a chance to work more closely with the staff and City Council.
Everyone works as a team, and for that, Mendoza is proud.
She doesn’t feel it will be a huge challenge with her experience. Having already been a City Council member for five years, she feels prepared to take on new responsibilities.
“I feel the transition will be relatively easy,” Mendoza said.
She has confidence in the staff at her businesses, believing they will be able to manage the operations whenever her mayoral responsibilities call her away.
Mendoza also remains confident the City Council will work well together.
As the first female to serve as mayor, she said it’s exciting to serve as a role model for other women.
“I gave a presentation at Grandview High School at the invitation of Carol Bardwell,” Mendoza said.
“It felt good to say the community is progressive and anything is possible regardless of gender,” she said.
Mendoza said she told one class filled with girls they can make change happen if they are willing to “… take the lead.”
McDonald was a member of the City Council from 2006 to 2009.
She is now a life coach and leadership consultant after having been the director of LifeOptions for many years.
McDonald is also on the city’s planning commission, serving since 2009.
She believes the city needs more businesses, a hotel, additional mid-range apartments to house residents and better communication between the city leaders and Port of Grandview.
Childress, at the Nov. 13 meeting, said he would be resigning effective Dec. 12. He plans to finish the budget process.
In January, he will join the Yakima County Commission, having been elected to the post in the Nov. 6 election.