After a brutal campaign, former council member Charlie Klinakis and his running mate, council member Valerie Munoz, secured their positions on the La Puente City Council ousting council member David Argudo.
Argudo’s last action was a motion to certify the results of that election, seconded by council member John Solis at the Dec. 11 reorganization council meeting.
Klinakis’ first action was to nominate his running mate to the mayoral position, despite his running mate having already served as a mayor in 2016, and having only been on the council for four years.
With no other nominations, Munoz was officially named mayor of La Puente, replacing former mayor Violeta Lewis.
Her first action as mayor was to nominate her running mate to mayor pro tem, removing the present mayor pro tem Dan Holloway from the mayoral position for three years.
With no other nominations, Klinakis was officially named mayor pro tem of La Puente.
The meeting was packed, as the ceremonial meetings usually are, with supporters of the candidates.
The most notable supporter of Munoz is her father, former State Senator for District 22 and defeated challenger for Lieutenant Governor of California, Ed Hernandez.
She thanked Hernandez in her comments after being elected mayor, and said she could not serve without her family’s support.
In Argudo’s time for closing remarks, he mentioned his first city council run in 2007 where he lost to Solis by a few votes and his victorious race in 2009.
He said that he learned a lot and made a lot of accomplishments to help the city, noting his push for a skate park, which later became an upgrade to the parks master plan, as a personal achievement.
He thanked supporters, adversaries, and council for everything.
Similarly Lewis thanked everyone for the honor to serve as mayor and received awards for her tenure as well.
Her husband, Jeff Lewis, was also in attendance and told those in the chamber that the first thing his wife ever thought of was how an idea would benefit La Puente.
Aside from council’s remarks, there was a flag bearing by La Puente High School color guard ROTC, three individuals spoke in public comment to lament the loss of their family member while in police custody, and several students and other community members thanked the council.
The meeting ended with Munoz’s first formal action as mayor to adjourn the meeting at 8:46 p.m.