CATHEDRAL CITY – Enrique ”Rick” Saldivar, one of four candidates who sought the lone seat in District 4 in the Nov. 6 City Council race, personifies the term gracious.

The 44-year-old associate pastor at Destiny Church was gracious in defeat.

Saldivar, who placed fourth in the pack, attended the Inauguration of Mayor Greg Pettis and Councilmembers Raymond Gregory, Ernesto Gutierrez, and Mark Carnevale on Dec. 10 and chose not to sit quietly.

It was a moment no one saw coming in the standing-room-only chambers. He was the last speaker to address the City Council during public comments and this is what he said.

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Enrique “Rick” Saldivar

“I wanted to say, ‘Congratulations, Ernesto, publicly.’ Raymond Gregory, thank you so much for all your help along (the way). It was my first time, and I called him one day from the bank (to ask) how did you get this FPPC number that we are supposed to get and he walked me through it.

The gracious Saldivar did not stop there.

“I want to say thank you. And, just because I didn’t win the seat doesn’t mean that I’m going away. There’s a lot of people that I endeavor to work with and that’s going to be my commitment to the city of Cathedral City. You guys deal with the politics, and I want to come along beside you guys and partner up to do the community part. Thank you so much and ‘Congratulations’ guys.”

The Council Chambers erupted in applause.

His speech was short, but powerful. He packed class, elegance, and style all in one gracious move.

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John A. Rivera

John A. Rivera was equally gracious in defeat.

On Election Night, it appeared he might emerge the winner in District 4, but Gutierrez pulled ahead and ultimately won. Rivera came in second in the four-way race.

Despite some people encouraging Rivera to seek a recount, Rivera declined.

“If it’s a win for Ernesto, it’s a win for Ernesto, and I can live with that,” Rivera told Uken Report. “For a first-timer like me, it’s not a bad showing.“

Rivera has long been a familiar face in Cathedral City.

Rivera, 58, a licensed architect in the state of California, has served on the Planning Commission for six years and was the Chair for the past two years. He also served on the Architectural Review Committee since 2007 where he continues to serve as Committee Chair. He also served on the city’s Historic Preservation Task Force during which time he wrote the city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance to be adopted as part of the current zoning ordinance.

“However the election process turns out, it was a very moving experience,” Rivera said. “I made promises to voters that I cannot walk away from.”

Rivera, too, is gracious in defeat.

Cathedral City is fortunate to have both of these men working to help move the city forward.

They did not lose. The city won.