West Covina Celebrates Outgoing, Welcomes New


Council member Letty Lopez takes the oath of office beside her family.

Letty Lopez-Viado got to take her first action as a council member on Dec. 4, by adjourning the hour and a half West Covina City Council meeting.

Prior to that, she held a “heads or tails” game and said she wanted to do this while everyone was still friendly at the first meeting.

Residents felt similarly in the public comment.

Ben Wong, a former council member and former temporary council member, came out to thank the three council members as their terms ended.

Resident Jorge Ogden also personally thanked council, addressing each outgoing member, just as Wong had

Still, Lopez-Viado said she wanted to make residents feel that they are involved in the city in the icebreaker.

The outgoing council members made a few closing remarks before passing the torch.

Council member Mike Spence said he would be brief because residents “can’t start swearing at you until you’re sworn in” and added that this day was about the new council,

He warned the new council that the budget is not their money or the city’s, but the people’s budget.

He added that he enjoyed his time on the council and joked that his street sign should have added “the only” to “Spence Way.”

When council member Corey Warshaw got “Warshaw Way” one resident repeated an inside joke between residents during the street renaming meeting – that there should be a street called “Warshaw Wrong Way.”

Warshaw himself said it was an honor and pleasure to serve and thanked his wife. He cited the struggles on the board as a good thing, and said that although they aren’t always happy leaving the chambers disagreement is a good thing.

He said he was proud of getting the general plan updated, which he said hadn’t been updated since the 1980s. He thanked Wong when he went up to receive his street sign, and said it was because of him that he ran for the city council.

Council member James Toma addressed the other board members that were terming out in his time. He said that Spence has the sharpest political mind and added that was not a compliment. He then added that Spence has knowledge of state law and a quite remarkable career, and some of Toma’s best preparation work for council meetings was knowing Spence would be against him.

He said that the residents benefited from that and received “Toma Place,” he gave an address on the edge of tears as his family joined him at the stage.

He closed by saying that he read that former President George H. W. Bush left a note for Clinton wishing him success, because success for him is success for the country.

He said he did the same for Dario Castellanos in regards to the city.

For his time, mayor pro tem Tony Wu thanked residents for his reelection and spoke of his accomplishments, and joked that he was disappointed he did not get a street sign.

He thanked his wife and said he felt the same as he did in 2015, and that it is very important to deliver promises adding, “Let’s work together to improve our city.”

As a part of the certification, each new (and returning) member took their oaths.

Colleen Rozatti took the oath of city treasurer and Nick Lewis took the oath of city clerk.

Wu, Lopez-Viado, and Castellanos also took the oath to become council members.

The next city council meeting is on Dec. 18, where they will decide whether to extend the exclusive contract negotiation with Singpoli over the BKK landfill.