Fil-Am elected as Bellflower mayor

Please select a featured image for your post

LOS ANGELES – Another Filipino has been elected to a key city council position for a quaint suburban city in Southern California.

60-year-old Sonny R. Santa Ines, was recently elected by his fellow members in the Bellflower City Council to become the city’s next chief executive.

He was elected to the city council in March 2011, and his term as a councilmember will expire on March 2015.

Santa Ines’ election as Bellflower mayor comes at the heels of recent reports of another Fil-Am being elected to the Sierra Madre City Council — Rachelle Pastor Arizmendi.

“I entered public service to give back to my community where my family and I have lived for over twenty years. I felt very strongly that I can use my talent and enthusiasm to help improve the City,” Santa Ines told Asian Journal via email correspondence.

According to Santa Ines, his priorities include maintaining and improving Bellflower’s good public safety record, promote economic development in the city’s economic corridors, and improve the quality of life of the city’s residents.

Prior to being part of the city council, Santa Ines was appointed to the Bellflower Planning Commission, the Bellflower Town Center Design Review Committee, Bellflower Unified School District Citizens’ Task Force, and the Bellflower High School Site Council.

There are not that many Filipinos in Bellflower, Santa Ines said. In fact, Asians account for less than 12 percent of the city’s population.

Nevertheless, Santa Ines intends to get Filipinos, as well as the Asians, involved in the city’s issues.

“I plan to get them engaged in civic issues by encouraging them to attend council and commission meetings, participate in the Neighborhood Watch program, volunteer in any of the various service clubs, attend civic events, and keep informed of what is going on in the City,” Santa Ines said.

Santa Ines is married to Irma, his wife for 33 years. They have two children, Mark and Ellen.

Santa Ines graduated magna cum laude from the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) with a degree in BS Business Administration, major in Accounting. He went on to obtain his Certificate in Early Childhood Education from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), and his MBA degree from California State University – Long Beach (CSULB).

Before his retirement, Santa Ines served as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of the Weingart Center Association — a nonprofit organization which provides services to the homeless of Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Presently, Santa Ines is also an active member of the St. Bernard Parish in Bellflower, as well as the Knights of Columbus organization, where he serves as California State Advocate.

Santa Ines acknowledged that Bellflower has been facing economic strife for some years now, as businesses started moving out of the city.

However, he pointed out that the city has implemented programs in the last few years, which look to attract new businesses.

“I appreciate our residents for believing in and staying with us. New businesses have come to the City, especially to our downtown [area]. You can now see that the economic vitality has started [to recover] and there are more to come,” Santa Ines said.

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2024 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.