Forty years ago, when Russ Blewett was first elected mayor, he made history as the youngest mayor in America. Tuesday night, he made history again as one of only a few California politicians to ever be the mayor of two different cities.
"I don't know anybody else, to be honest, who was mayor of two cities," Blewett said Wednesday. "I'm sure there are some, but I can't name them."
He was 27 when he was voted mayor in Baldwin Park.
"Back then," he said, "virtually everyone on the council was old enough to be my mother or father."
Although he has remained active in politics, helping to run election campaigns for like-minded individuals, and serving as a planning commissioner for San Bernardino County and the city of Hesperia, Blewett spent decades out of elected office, after serving eight years on the Baldwin Park City Council.
"Frankly, if I had been serving in office all of those years, I think I would have been doing (the public) a disservice," he said. "I don't think that public officials should be camping out for 20 or 30 years. I don't think that's a good thing. Or in my case, damned near 40."
Blewett was elected to the Hesperia City Council in 2010.
"I love this community and I think that Hesperia has the brightest future in the High Desert," he said. "It's had steady, good management of recent years and I think they've made a lot of correct decisions. We're not 100 percenters, but they've made a lot of correct decisions."
Blewett cited the city owning its own water rights as a "big advantage," as well as the city's relatively small debt load.
"Things are not easy right now, but Hesperia's in relatively good financial position compared to other cities, particularly in the High Desert."
Blewett was voted in as mayor by a 5-0 decision by his fellow councilmen. Councilman Bill Holland was chosen mayor pro tem by another unanimous vote.
The next regular meeting of the Hesperia City Council will take place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.