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Posted on: December 27, 2022

Temecula City Council Selects Zak Schwank as Mayor 2023 and James “Stew” Stewart as Mayor Pro Tem

On Tuesday, December, 13, 2022, during a regular meeting of the Temecula City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Zak Schwank was chosen unanimously by the Council to serve as Mayor of Temecula for 2023.    

Mayor Zak Schwank was reelected by District 5 voters for a second term on the City Council in November. He was first elected to serve on the City Council in 2018, following two full terms as a Temecula Community Services Commissioner. “It is truly an honor to serve Temecula and to be part of a team that places the safety, and a high quality of life for all of its residents, at the forefront," Mayor Schwank said. "Our great City has enjoyed 33 wonderful years, and I am confident that 2023 will be another year of growth and progress in which we continue to build upon Temecula's reputation as an exceptional place to live, work, and play.” 

Schwank is an advocate of sustainable housing for all income levels, enhancing the City's plentiful park amenities and recreation facilities, promoting the arts, and celebrating culture and the City's wide range of diversity to provide an inclusive and family-friendly City for all.   

"Like all growing and thriving cities, Temecula has its challenges and acknowledging them means we can tackle and overcome them," Mayor Schwank said. "Embracing challenge is a trigger for growth — economically, culturally, and as a community — and I believe we as Temeculans have always risen to the challenges put in front of us and conquered them. I look forward to the achievements we all make together as a City." 

As Mayor, Schwank will continue to focus his efforts on preserving and enhancing a safe and beautiful City for its residents as well as the tens of thousands of visitors that travel to Temecula every year.  A staunch supporter of City mobility options, Schwank will also continue to enhance Temecula’s bike lane and trail system including safe bicycle lanes and off-street trail connections to complete a “loop” around the City for cyclists and pedestrians.  As the outgoing Chairman of the Riverside Transit Agency, Schwank supports public transportation networks as just one of the efforts to reduce traffic in Temecula and the region. 

The Temecula City Council also unanimously selected Council Member James “Stew” Stewart to serve as Mayor Pro Tem assuming mayoral duties in the event of Mayor Schwank’s absence.  In addition, two new Council Members elected by the citizenry within their respective Districts were sworn in to serve as Council Members.  Newly elected Council Member Curtis Brown is a 26-year fire service veteran currently employed as a Deputy Director at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and is a former Temecula Fire Chief.  Newly elected Council Member Brenden Kalfus is a long time Temecula resident who grew up in Temecula, and is currently employed as a fire fighter and an arson investigator.  Both were elected to serve a 4-year term on the City Council through 2026.  Mayor Pro Tem James “Stew” Stewart and Council Member Jessica Alexander were appointed respectively as President and Vice President for the 2023 Temecula Community Services District. Further 2023 Council Committee and Board assignments are anticipated to occur during the first regular Council Meeting of 2023.

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