25 Dec

Lopez to end council career

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – City Councilman Doug Lopez, who was appointed to his seat nearly a year ago and became the only Latino serving on the panel, has announced he will not seek election in April. The announcement by Lopez, 50, who was appointed by the council Jan. 29 and had been expected to run for the two-year, unexpired term of retired Councilman Dave Butler, surprised many City Hall watchers, said former Councilman Allan Zolnekoff. “That will trigger some interesting dynamics,” Zolnekoff said. “A person could consider taking on incumbents \ Nordbak and \ Henderson, or going for the open two-year seat.” Nordbak and Henderson both have taken out nomination papers for new four-year terms. Challenger Arthur Rock also has been issued papers. Lopez’s decision is likely to draw a number of contenders for his seat, predicted Louis Reyes, vice chairman of the Whittier Latino Coalition. “In case of an open seat, you have a lot of candidates running,” Reyes said. One challenger is likely to be attorney Alex Moisa, who placed fourth in council elections two years ago, Reyes said. “He’s a strong candidate and \ definitely helps him,” he said. “It would be great to see a qualified individual who meets Latino needs, and Alex would be a great asset to the council. Not only is he Latino, but he’s younger. He’s a different generation.” Moisa is in his 40s; all but Lopez on the council are older than 50. Another potential candidate, Joe Vinatieri, said he is disappointed that Lopez is not going to run. “Doug has done a fine job,” Vinatieri said. “He brought a fresh perspective to the council.” Lopez said his new housing development company requires too much of his time, making it difficult for him to serve on the council. Plus, he said, his business commitments require him to spend about two weeks of each month in Arizona. “If I’m only here a couple weeks a month, I’m not sure I’m meeting my responsibility to Whittier,” he said. Lopez sold The Dial Group, a temporary employment agency he had owned for 25 years, about four weeks ago and formed Val Development six months ago in the Bullhead City area. He already has three projects in the works, he said. Building homes has always been one of his dreams, Lopez said, and now he has a chance to do it. “This is the going to be the love of my life,” said Lopez. “It’s unfortunate I can’t do it in California.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022last_img read more