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DAVID PARDO, DAILY PRESS
NEW SEATS: Apple Valley's new mayor, Curt Emick, center, addresses residents during a Town Council meeting on Tuesday. Art Bishop, right center, was appointed mayor pro tem and Larry Cusack, far right, was sworn in as a new council member.

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Apple Valley appoints new mayor

Emick taking helm, Bishop appointed mayor pro tem

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Getting to know Curt Emick

• Native of San Gabriel

• Moved to Apple Valley in 1982

• Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of the Pacific

• Currently manages a local Target pharmacy

• Served on Kiwanis and Rotary clubs

• Served on Excelsior Education Center board

Getting to know Art Bishop

• Native of New York

• Moved to High Desert in late 70s

• Served with the Los Angeles Police Department

• Served on San Bernardino County Fire Agency ad hoc committee

• Division fire chief for city of Victorville in 1989

• Created the Inland Empire Fire Explorer Association

• Retired as fire chief with the Apple Valley Fire Protection

APPLE VALLEY • After the town's annual Christmas Tea, the festivities continued as two new council members were sworn in and new mayoral positions were appointed to lead Apple Valley into its 25th anniversary of incorporation.

Curt Emick will be at the helm as mayor in 2013, along with newly seated council members Art Bishop and Larry Cusack, who were sworn in by congressman-elect and retired Marine Col. Paul Cook during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Emick was appointed to the town’s top position nearly four months after the council seated him as mayor pro tem, replacing Ginger Coleman’s position after she abruptly left in July for a job in San Diego.

In August, the four-member council was split in its decision to fill the fifth seat left vacant by Coleman until the November election.

“The mayor’s job is to unite the council and to represent the council on whatever decision the council makes, and to communicate to the public the reasons why the council did what it did,” Emick said. “That is what I’ll be doing as a whole.”

Bishop, who received the majority vote during the November election, was appointed mayor pro tem.

“I’m excited and looking forward to the future of Apple Valley,” Bishop said. “We had a lot of great leadership with Rick Roelle and Ginger Coleman, and so many people behind them over the last 24 years.”

Bishop and Cusack were separated by only 106 votes during the race, with Bishop receiving 27.90 percent of the vote out of the nine candidates, according to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.

Cusack, who was named the town’s citizen of the year in 2010, is a member of the Apple Valley Fire Protection District Board of Directors and chairman of the Village Property and Business Improvement District.

Elected to the council in 2010, Emick had his moment of controversy in March after a 168-housing tract was denied on a 3-2 vote, with Emick, who originally voted against the project, asking to revisit the issue “on behalf of the citizens of Skyline Ranch, and all those in that area, and some community members.”

As residents held up signs of protest during a July meeting, Emick voted yes on the project and the housing tract item passed 3-2.

Bishop, who first became a firefighter in 1979, retired as chief of the AVFPD in July, and will soon vacate his position as the president of the Mojave Water Agency.

During his campaign, Bishop said he supported the town’s position on the golf course, calling it a “beautiful landmark in our town,” which the town cannot afford to let go.

But with a general reserve fund hovering near $3 million, and the town subsidizing the course, Bishop and the council will have to tackle the issue in 2013.

“It’s been a year of challenge and accomplishment,” said Councilwoman Barb Stanton, who gave up her seat to Emick after serving as mayor for one year. “We have a good council and a lot of work ahead of us.”

Hosting several “Coffee with the Mayor” events, the town’s special preference policy and the animal shelter opening on Saturdays were among the top accomplishments during her time as mayor, Stanton said.

After eight years on the council, including one term as mayor, Councilman Roelle stepped down after choosing to run for the county’s 1st District supervisor position in November, which he lost to Robert Lovingood.

“Congratulations to Art and Larry,” said Roelle, who received commendations from the town and former 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt’s office.

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