Three supervisors sworn-in to newly drawn supervisorial districts while new Auditor-Controller takes oath of office
During the first Riverside County Board of Supervisors of 2023, three supervisors were sworn-in to new four-year terms, including first-time Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez representing the newly redrawn Fifth District.
All supervisorial districts were redrawn during the 2021 redistricting process, with Districts 2,4 and 5 going into effect in January 2023, following the 2022 election process.
Supervisor Gutierrez was sworn in by Judge Jorge Hernandez, with his mother and father by his side. Supervisor Gutierrez joins the county from the City of Moreno Valley, where he served as mayor for seven years. Supervisor Gutierrez’s top priorities include homelessness, public safety and infrastructure.
“I look forward to continuing my focus on homelessness, including working collaboratively with departments and my colleagues on the board to move policies forward and approve funding for this effort,” said Supervisor Yxstian Gutierrez. “I look forward to this new journey and making this office work for the residents of the Fifth District.”
The new Fifth District includes the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa, Hemet, Moreno Valley and San Jacinto. District Five also encompasses the unincorporated communities of Cabazon, Cherry Valley, Lakeview, Nuevo, as well as parts of Valle Vista and Whitewater.
Supervisor Karen Spiegel was sworn-in to her second four-year term as the Second District Supervisor, and first swearing-in under the new district boundaries. The Second District now stretches from Jurupa Valley to Lake Elsinore. Supervisor Spiegel was sworn in by retired state legislator Jeff Miller.
Plans for Supervisor Spiegel’s next term include being a strong advocate for the county’s fair share in behavioral health and other outdated funding formulas that are based on Riverside County’s population from three decades ago.
“My voice is going to be louder these next few years on many issues, including local control, behavioral health, and supporting our businesses,” said Supervisor Karen Spiegel. “I pick my battles, and these are three big ones I’m picking this year.”
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez took his oath of office marking his third term as the Fourth District Supervisor. Performing the swearing-in installation was Pat Cooper, longtime County of Riverside employee and Deputy Chief of Staff for Supervisor Perez. The new Fourth District is geographically the largest district in Riverside County, stretching from the San Jacinto Mountains to the Arizona border.
Supervisor Perez noted economic development, public safety, as well as health and human services are continued areas of focus for the county.
“One area that I will concentrate on is affordable housing,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “We need to ensure that we have the right infrastructure so that people – no matter who they are or where they come from – have clean drinking water and access to housing. There are huge infrastructure needs in the Eastern Coachella Valley, and we have the right team to make improvements a reality.”
In addition, Ben J. Benoit was sworn-in to his first term as the countywide elected Auditor-Controller. Benoit was sworn-in by his mother, Sheryl Benoit, with his sister by his side. Benoit was previously the Wildomar mayor and a councilmember for 12 years. Benoit is also the son of former supervisor John J. Benoit, who represented the Fourth District and passed away in 2016 during his term on the board.
Another milestone for the Jan. 10 board meeting included Kimberly Rector’s first board meeting in her new role as the Clerk of the Board. Rector is no stranger to board meetings. Prior to taking the helm, she has worked for the Clerk of the Board’s Office for approximately 27 years and most recently served as Assistant Clerk of the Board.
In addition, Supervisor Kevin Jeffries and Supervisor Chuck Washington were voted in by their colleagues to serve as the 2023 Board Chair and 2023 vice chair, respectively.
- Gutierrez: RivCo
- Karen Spiegel: RivCo
- Supervisor Perez: RivCo
- Ben J. Benoit: Ben J. Benoit