Sierra Vista Councilman Mark Rodriguez

Newly appointed Sierra Vista Councilman Mark Rodriguez was sworn in Thursday night by Deputy City Clerk Maria Marsh. Councilwoman Carolyn Umphrey looks on.

SIERRA VISTA — Newly appointed City Councilman Mark Rodriguez, a former soldier whose last assignment was on Fort Huachuca and who now works as a contractor on post, was sworn in Thursday as the latest member of the panel.

Rodriguez was appointed to fill in the seat left vacant by former councilwoman Sarah Pacheco.

The father of three children, who has participated in the Sierra Vista Fire Department’s Citizen Academy and the agency’s smoke detector program, said he wanted to provide a voice for people in the community who feel that they’re not being heard.

“I wanted to do something to help out people in any way i could,’ Rodriguez said. “When I’m out and about, I’m out about with the smoke detectors, I get to hear their (people’s) views about the city. Good things, bad things, whatever they want to talk about.

“I just want to make sure that they’re being heard by somebody.”

The City Council reached consensus on Rodriguez late Tuesday afternoon after interviewing him and three other applicants for the vacant seat earlier this week. Pacheco, who served on the City Council for 2½ half years, had to resign because she moved to Hereford.

The new councilman is a Noncommissioned Officer Academy Senior Trainer with ORSA Technologies LLC at the installation. He will serve on the City Council until December 2022, when Pacheco’s initial term expires.

After that, Rodriguez — if he’s interested in staying on the panel — would have to run for a seat in the next election.

Rodriguez was one of four applicants who made the final cut after the City Council pared down the initial list from 22.

Each of the four finalists was interviewed individually on Monday and Tuesday during executive sessions. After the last interview Tuesday, the City Council reached a consensus on Rodriguez. They voted on his appointment Thursday evening at the regular City Council meeting and he was sworn in after the session by Deputy City Clerk Maria Marsh.

By law, city council members can’t publicly discuss what actions they took during an executive session. But Mayor Rick Mueller said that in general, applicants are chosen based on the information they include in their letters of interest, pretty much like a job resume.

“We had a number of folks who applied, a number of good folks,” Mueller said. “We had some solid interviews.”

Council members Will Benning, Carolyn Umphrey, Angelica Landry and Gregory L. Johnson welcomed Rodriguez to the City Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Rachel Gray thanked Rodriquez for applying.

“Thank you for your willingness to take this crazy journey,” she said.