My name is Lorena Barcelo, wife of current Mayor Alvaro Barcelo. At this time I felt the need to write this letter to talk a little about my life with Alvaro. We have 3 kids: Briana, Jessica and Omar 23,22 and 14 years of age.
For the past 22 years, Alvaro has been serving on our Town of Mammoth’s Town Council, which he has received awards of recognition for him serving our Community. All these years, my kids and I have learned to accept that serving the Town Council is very important to Alvaro, and this is something we respect. For him this is his passion, he has always had hope that this Town would grow, succeed, and help build a better way of living for our citizens. In these 22 years, not one payment has been received for his time served, it has all been volunteer.
My kids are now grown and my oldest, Briana, took the opportunity and applied for a job at the Mammoth Town Hall. Before interviews were ever held, she volunteered her time, away from her kids and family for a whole month prior to any hiring. Among those who interviewed her was former Vice-Mayor Frances Wickham. The outcome of her being hired was a lot of criticism, nothing but bad comments and assumptions that she is not qualified, all because she is the Mayor’s daughter. I, first hand, can say this assumption of her capability is wrong. Since a young girl she has been very intelligent and driven. She received much recognition, all the way to her graduation day. She attended Pima College and also received a diploma in the Dental Field. What makes people think she is getting paid for a job that she is not qualified to do,after almost 2 years of employment with the Town? Is being the Mayor’s daughter the only qualifications she needs to be employed? I know for a fact that it is not possible.
Unfortunately, among our Town, I have learned of a small group of people who call themselves “people for a better tomorrow” are saying false information, “rumors”, about Alvaro and our Family. I’m sure among these lies, it was said he is taking “advantage”of his position as Mayor and giving jobs to only his family members. Yes, my daughter’s boyfriend is also employed through the Town, but,just like any other citizen, he went on his and applied. Made it a point to talk to the Public Works Director. I am not only saying this because he is my daughter’s partner, but he is a responsible, hard-working young man who takes pride in the work he does. He worked even harder to prove himself for the people, even to some members on the Town Council who disliked him simply because of his relation to the Mayor. People assume everything must have been handed to them, when in fact, it was harder on them only because who their related to.
Citizens of Mammoth are finally able to see the changes in our Town. Our parks are finally being maintained there are new businesses interested, and soon to come. The Reverse Osmosis Water System; Mammoth is finally going to have the privilege of having filtered water, something we never had before. Our Town has been improving, so, what is the problem I ask? Mammoth is known as a “Ghost Town”, which we are not, and it is now beginning to show. When members of this “group” are knocking at your door telling you all of these negative comments of Alvaro and the Town Council, please keep in mind all the positive changes that have been made in just this past years. If in doubt, come to Alvaro with any questions or concerns, he will be more than happy to answer.
Members of this same “group” were at a Catholic Church handing out flyers, with again, negative stories. What kind of people would think to take such actions to a Church of God. I believe mixing politics and religion is something you should never do. How could this have been allowed? Among this group, active Council member Frances Wickham, who refers to us Citizens, as well as Town Employees as the “LIttle People”, is this the kind of respect that “group” has for our Town? So much effort, and all for a signature.
My only hope is that the people realize the facts and choose someone who truly cares for the Town of Mammoth, the way Alvaro has. Someone who lived in our Town as long as he has (his whole life). If he is replaced, my only hope is that Mammoth continues to grow and succeed and all projects are followed through and completed. He, as well as I, will always be thankful and grateful for the people who believed in him and supported him. If his time as Mayor is up, it will not be because he gave up, it will be because that is what the Citizens of Mammoth have chosen.
/s/ Lorena Barcelo