Recently departed Ceres City Councilman Guillermo Ochoa accomplished too much to have passed away so early in life. Guillermo holds the proud dual distinction of being the first appointed and first elected Latino Ceres councilmember. He also performed a valuable roll as a member of the Stanislaus Council of Governments policy board.
As Guillermo’s campaign manager for 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 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 would not have split the vote.
Guillermo’s legacy lives on through his dedicated public service policies, 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 Guillermo did worked in concert with an upbeat rhythm and harmonious spirit.
Ken Groves Jr., Ceres