New councilmembers sworn in

New councilmembers Albert Valecillo, Carol Scianna and Richard Casavecchina take their oath of office at the Winters City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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The top three candidates who received the most votes in the November General Election took their oath of office at a Winters City Council special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

After honoring the long-time service of outgoing councilmembers Mayor Wade Cowan, Pierre Neu and Harold Anderson, the City staff began the process of affirming their replacements on the council. As Cowan ended his thanks to the community, he said “and now we get to swear in some new ones, and you guys get to see what it’s all about.”

So began the formal swearing-in process for Richard Casavecchia, Carol Scianna and Albert Vallecillo, Winters’ new City Council members. The three stood before the council facing the audience, and raising their right hands, repeated their oath presented by City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa who officially inaugurated them onto the council.

The three took their seats on the council dais and immediately began their duties by continuing to complete the meeting’s agenda. Following Cowan’s departure, Mayor Pro Tempore Bill Biasi took over running the meeting. The first action of the new council was the delegation of the new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore.

Trepa explained to the audience and the new councilmembers that, “the councilmember who served as Mayor Pro Tem prior to the election shall be designated as Mayor,” also noting that, “traditionally this assignment has been with a two-year term.” She then explained, “the Mayor Pro Tem shall be the person that received the greatest number of votes in the most recent general municipal election at which council members are elected.”

Referring to the certified election results provided by the county election board, Treppa noted that, “the number one vote-getter was Al Vallecillo with 1,263 votes,” making him eligible to be Mayor Pro Tem should he accept the position.

Trepa then turned the motion back to the council and asked for a nomination for Mayor. Councilmember Jesse Loren spoke up to nominate Biasi for Mayor. The motion was seconded by Scianna in her first action on the body.

Before the vote was held, Loren provided another comment, noting that though the position of Mayor is typically a two-year term, other cities like Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento have amended the term to one year.

“I value our traditions, but I also want to mention that is something that has moved throughout Yolo County,” Loren said continuing that this change could, “give an opportunity for leadership to grow in the City.” But, Loren said she wasn’t suggesting a motion at that time and the comment was “food for thought.”

Bill Biasi will serve as the new Mayor, and Albert Valecillo will serve as the new Mayor Pro Tempore. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

Biasi was unanimously approved by the council as Winters’ next Mayor.

The next item saw the nomination for the Mayor Pro Tem. Casavecchia nominated Vallecillo and was seconded by Scianna, and in the following vote, Vallecillo was approved as Winters’ Mayor Pro Tempore.

With the positions filled, the last item of the meeting was the announcement of City Hall closure dates for the holidays and for 2023.

City Hall will be closed beginning Saturday, Dec. 23 – Jan. 2, and will reopen to the public on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The full list of City Hall holiday closures for 2023 can be viewed in the Staff Report at

The council also approved to cancel the regularly scheduled Jan. 3 City Council meeting due to the holiday closure, meaning the next meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

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