SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Mayor Joe Gunter left an impact on the City of Salinas. "He wouldn't mind coming in with his hands all dirty, sleeves rolled up and all that," said city volunteer, Gloria Galli.
His commitment to the community is remembered by Galli. She and others worked alongside Gunter to maintain a rose garden at Central Park."That really meant a lot to us out here, to see a mayor get in there with us," said Galli.
Central Park is the focus of a neighborhood beautification project Gunter advocated for. "When we look around at the painted utility boxes, the community garden that serves the surrounding neighborhood with fresh fruits and vegetables, theses are all examples of community beautification that Joe brought and championed," said Salinas city council member, Steve McShane.
Members of city council will take turns filling Gunter's role until a new mayor takes office.
District 5 city council member, Christie Cromeenes, will serve as mayor in until the first week in October.
Salinas city manager, Ray Corpuz, said council members will rotate on a quarterly basis until a new mayor comes in. "The city is going to be very dilerbate in following the processes in our code and regulations and remain consistent with state law. It's a little tough to talk about right now because we lost a tremendous Salinas hero," said Corpuz.
Corpuz said city council will decide how they will move forward in filling the mayor's position. Council will have the option to appoint a candidate from the electorate or hold a special election. If a new mayor is not selected in the next 60 days, the city will have to wait until the general election in November.