Mayor Mike Mendez was born on February 25, 1947, in Long Beach, California to Mario and local education icon Sara Mendez. Sara has a park named after her on the William Orr School property. Mario and Sara raised Mike, his two sisters, and five brothers in Norwalk, making Mike a lifelong resident. Mike attended California State University Fullerton, Cerritos and Rio Hondo Colleges. Mike was drafted into the Army in 1968, and, after serving two years, was discharged and began employment with the City of Santa Fe Springs. During Mike's career he was promoted rapidly, starting as a Recreation Leader and eventually becoming the Director of Recreation. He retired from the City of Santa Fe Springs in 2008.
Mike has three children: Lauren who is the Principal of Lakeview Elementary School in Santa Fe Springs; Lindsay, a Broadway performer; and Michael Kyle, who also performs on Broadway in New York. On June 19, 2015, Mike was married to Margie Palomino (now Mendez).
Mayor Mendez was first elected to the Norwalk City Council in 1988. He has a distinguished record of accomplishments as a member of the City Council and as a leader in the local educational community, having led the way in bond measures for Whittier Union High School and Little Lake City School Districts. Mayor Mendez currently serves as the President of the Little Lake Educational Advancement Foundation. He has received the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District's Superintendent's Award, PTA Awards from Fairford, Wm. Orr, and Jersey School. He was placed in Santa Fe High School's Hall of Fame in 1991 for outstanding community service and for being a role model for other Santa Fe High Graduates. The gymnasium at Santa Fe High School is named in his honor.
Mendez has served the City as Mayor for the years 1991-1992, 1994-1995, 1999-2000, 2003-2004, 2008-2009, 2011-2012 and now, in 2016-17. Many key decisions were reached through Mike's leadership during his tenure on City Council. Perhaps one of the most important of these was work contributing to the final agreements for construction of the Norwalk Entertainment Center, which features an AMC 20-Screen Theatre and the adjacent Outback Restaurant. Also completed was the Paddison Square expansion that included Applebee's Neighborhood Grill. During Vice Mayor Mendez' tenure, two Target Stores and a WalMart were also built. He helped shape key decisions relative to the Norwalk-Santa Fe Springs Transportation Center, which began receiving Metrolink trains in the Summer of 1995.
Additionally, Mayor Mendez serves as a board member on the I-5 Consortium, where he has been Chair since 1991, delegate on the California Contract Cities Association, delegate on the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, League of California Cities Legislative delegate, director on League of California Cities, delegate on Los Angeles County City Selection Committee/Eastern Region, director on Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts Nos. 2 and 18, representative on Southern California Association of Governments.
During his 2016 reorganization acceptance speech, Mayor Mendez thanked the entire community for their continued support and for rallying around what's best for our community.
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