Glendora Bids Farewell To Tessitor, Santoro, Welcomes Newcomers

A sea of change in Glendora occurred Thursday night as the city bid farewell to long time council members while welcoming fresh faces to city government.

The special City Council meeting was also held to adopt a resolution reciting the fact of the general municipal election results from March 3 and to also swear in new City Council members Gary Boyer and Mendell Thompson. Judy Nelson was reelected to the council as well.

The City Council passed a resolution 4-0 with 1 absent.

Judy Nelson was not present at Thursday’s meeting as she was on a family trip in Vietnam.

The reorganization of the City Council also took place. After the oath of office, newest member Mendell Thompson’s first action as Council member was to nominate Gene Murabito as mayor pro tem after the selection of Karen Davis as Mayor.

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Doug Tessitor has been a member of the Glendora City Council since 2003. In addition to being the city’s representative on the Foothill Transit executive board, Tessitor also serves as the Glendora representative for the Gold Line Joint Powers Authority Board to help bring Phase II of the Foothill Extension to Glendora.

Tessitor also worked to help bring developments, such as Diamond Ridge, the Marketplace and the Louie Pompei Memorial Sports Park, to Glendora.

Each incumbent spoke highly of their departing council members.

“Transportation is a fitting analogy,” said Mayor Karen Davis at the special meeting. “[Tessitor] has been a vehicle to help move the city of Glendora forward. We thank you for your leadership, your commitment, your tenacity and for all that you have brought to the city council and to the city of Glendora.”

Tessitor spoke briefly about change he experienced in the 59 years he has resided in town.

“I remember that there were people complaining about the new structure that is going up on Route 66 and Glendora Avenue and how they couldn’t see the Foothills. When we first moved her in 1956, there was hardly a day you could see the foothills from Sierra Madre because of the smog,” Tessitor said. “I’m exceptionally proud of my service and the service of all the council members I had the pleasure of serving with.”

Tessitor and his wife Cyndy plan on leaving Glendora to spend winters at their property in Rancho Mirage and summers with their children and grandchildren. The former City Council member will return to the area periodically to continue his work with the Gold Line Foothill Extension.

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Joe Santoro, a resident of Glendora since 1994, is most remembered for the fight against Measure A, a ballot initiative in 2006 crafted by an out-of-state developer which sought a land swap that would have torn down the Glendora Country Club and replaced it with 338 hillside homes, bypassing city zoning.

Before serving on the City Council, Santoro served as Dean of th Rio Hondo College Department of Public Service, was police chief and deputy city manager of Monrovia and officer, sergeant, lieutenant and captain at Monterey Park Police.

“Your leadership, your guidance, your influence over the last four years while we went through some very difficult financial times means a lot to me and the city of Glendora,” Mayor Pro Tem Murabito said of Santoro. “You were a steady hand navigating some difficult times.”

Santoro congratulated Nelson, Thompson and Boyer for their victories in the election.

“One thing was very clear: every single one of us had one thing in mind and that was doing what we thought was best for this community. I’m looking forward to their work and their success,” Santoro said.

Santoro said he will remain in Glendora and will continue work on a book he has been planning.

Both outgoing City Council members were also presented certificates of congressional recognition by representatives of Congresswoman Judy Chu, honors from State Senator Carol Liu, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez and commendations from Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

“I take this responsibility very serious and know that we have some big shoes to fill,” said Council member Gary Boyer. “I also want to extend my appreciation to Joe and Doug for the service they have given to the city over the years.”

Thompson thanked both Santoro and Tessitor for their service and thanked everyone for their support during the election.

“I want to say thank you to the family that I have, the friends that are here, the public … for the confidence that you enabled me to have and have given me the chance to work with these fine folks,” Thompson said.