Mayor Paul Llanez is a man who may know the best and worst parts of Los Banos better than most. He was elected mayor this past November with the message of immediate and meaningful change.

Llanez has worked in the city for more than 20 years, where he served as a police officer and task force agent. He has also served as the Police Union President. Throughout his years in service of Los Banos, he recognized a need for the city to undergo a culture change.

After a few months on the job, Mayor Llanez, in an interview with The Westside Express, said he believes there is now “a lot to do.” He also expressed gratitude to city council members for being receptive to his plans and ideas on improving the city.

Llanez said his top three priorities for the city are executing strategic plans for assisting the homeless population, the animal shelter and the city’s infrastructure. His competency in effecting change in these areas is evidenced by a plan to secure funding already in motion.

Each year, the San Joaquin One Voice® advocacy program attends a trip to Washington, D.C., to work with federal representatives on securing funding for essential projects in the valley. Applications to attend were due in December and Llanez was on the job. He is preparing for the trip to ensure the city of Los Banos is represented and receives funding for improvements.

In a review of the city’s budget, Los Banos was projected to complete the year with a budgetary surplus. Llanez recognizes the possibility but insists he is “more concerned with actual money than projected money.” He plans to continue monitoring the possible surplus without earmarking money that may not be as available for spending as it currently seems.

Mayor Llanez is confident in the city’s continued relationship with the county, since he believes he has “a good relationship with the County CEO [Raul Lomeli Mendez].” Llanez also said he works well with County Supervisor Scott Silveira of District 5.

Llanez is dedicated to improving the condition of the community as proven by his dedication to the safety of schools. He is currently the president and CEO of a consulting and training firm dedicated to school safety. In this role he travels across the state sharing active shooter training.

Llanez’ interest in safe schools may be the result of his role in the police department as well as love for his family. He and his wife, Brooke, have three children. The oldest is employed as a school teacher while the younger two are attending schools in the city.

With a personal devotion to be “available to the public,” Llanez has time set aside every Friday for meetings and has already been a part of more than 100 meetings. He is grateful to the public in taking a serious interest in helping him effect change and safety for the city of Los Banos.

Courtney Andrade