Updated 5:15 p.m.
In a changing of the guard at City Hall, Bobby Patton and Brian Pat Bilbray were sworn into office Wednesday, while Jim King was recognized for his four years of service as a member of the Imperial Beach City Council.
A local Boy Scout led the crowd of about 70 in the Pledge of Allegiance and Douglas Jones, pastor of St. James Lutheran Church across the street from City Hall, gave the invocation.
Patton received 35.1 percent of votes, more than any of the six candidates in the race. His campaign also received more money than any other candidate.
A similar group of supporters backed Councilman Ed Spriggs, the top vote-getter in the 2010 City Council campaign.
Patton said the campaign was exhausting, and that he knocked on so many doors that his knuckles hurt, but he's ready to get to work for the people of Imperial Beach.
"I'm pleased to be on this team," he said after the oath of office ceremony and four-hour meeting.
Before joing the Imperial Beach City Council, Patton established the Imperial Beach Junior Lifeguard program. He was an Imperial Beach lifeguard for three decades, but submitted his letter of resignation Dec. 4.
Patton was sworn in with his children Hannah, 8, and Jack, 10, at his side. His wife Katie is the PTA president at Imperial Beach Charter School.
The oath of office was given to Brian Pat Bilbray by his father—outgoing Rep. Brian Bilbray—who was the mayor of Imperial Beach from 1978 to 1985, the year Brian was born. This is Bilbray's second term of office. He was first elected in a 2010 special election.
Click here to learn more about Patton and Bilbray's vision of the future of Imperial Beach.
Outgoing Councilman Jim King received a barrage of accolades from the offices of government officials ranging from Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to County Supervisor Greg Cox's office, who declared Dec. 5 Jim King Day.
Dan Malcolm, Imperial Beach's representative on the Board of Port Commissioners, took his dress shirt off to reveal a shirt from King's 2008 run for office.
"It was true four years ago and it's true now, 'Every City Needs a King!'" he said.
City Manager Gary Brown gave the departing councilman a gift bag made by City Clerk Jacqueline Hald.
"We know that it's been a rough year, so the City Clerk put together this Jim King survival kit," City Manager Gary Brown said, making light of King's misfortune in the weeks before and after Election Day.
In the kit were:
- A Hot Wheels Corvette to replace the car his son flipped over on Calla Ave.
- Plastic gloves since he got Hand, Foot and Mouth disease at the end of the campaign and was unable to go door-to-door to solicit votes
- An eye patch and Band-Aids for a skating accident he had
Mayor Jim Janney gave King a final departing gift—a Hawaiian shirt.
A cake break was taken before regular and special meetings were held Wednesday.
The city of Imperial Beach was incorporated July 18, 1956.