The Ventura County Board of Supervisors honored retired two-term Councilman Dr. Gabino Aguirre at the December 7 special meeting held at Santa Paula City Hall. Above Supervisor Kathy Long presented the Proclamation to Dr. Gabino Aguirre.

Aguirre honored by Board of Supervisors for service to the community

December 22, 2010
Santa Paula News

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors honored retired two-term Councilman Dr. Gabino Aguirre at the December 7 special meeting held at Santa Paula City Hall. Aguirre, a native of Mexico, received the proclamation from Board Chairwoman Supervisor Kathy Long.

Mayor Fred Robinson first welcomed the board to Santa Paula before Aguirre was called to the lectern.

Aguirre, noted Long, was the fifth of 12 children and came to California in 1963. “He spent much of his childhood working in the agricultural fields with his migrant farmworker family” before settling in Santa Paula with his own family a decade later.

But first Aguirre left home at 16, worked as a janitor at a children’s hospital, and served in the Vietnam conflict. Upon his 1969 discharge, Aguirre attended college and later graduated from UCLA with a BS degree in sociology. “Being a student at heart,” Long said, Aguirre went back to school and earned a Masters degree in education from USC and his PhD in social science/comparative and international education from UCLA.

Aguirre, who retired as a school principal in 2007, started his city council service in 2002 and also served terms as mayor and vice mayor. Long noted that she worked closely with Aguirre on the ad hoc committee “that was instrumental in reopening Santa Paula Hospital,” and he further “put Santa Paula on the map” through the “Mayors for Peace” delegation to the United Nations, an international advocacy group urging nuclear disarmament.

“He also provided unwavering support for affordable and farmworker housing, as well as helped establish the only farmworkers monument” in the nation. Long said Aguirre “still makes time to be involved in community activities, such as being a founding board member of El Concilio del Condado de Ventura,” board chairman of Community Action of Ventura County, and president of Latino Town Hall, among other activities, often with his wife CoCo by his side.

Aguirre said that those who live in Santa Paula are lucky, and “It’s so easy for us to forget that the rest of the garden exists out there.” He shares his mission in life with others: “to be a good human being.... Thank you, and I thank Kathy for the good work she has done with the hospital.” Aguirre also thanked the board for the good work they do throughout Ventura County.

Other supervisors also thanked Aguirre for his contributions: “We’ve worked together on regional issues,” and Supervisor Linda Parks noted that Aguirre’s retiring from the city council is “Santa Paula’s loss... but also Santa Paula’s gain” as he pursues other activities that will benefit the community.





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