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Baldwin Park Council of 2 Meets Briefly in Hospital

May 10, 1987|DENISE-MARIE SANTIAGO | Times Staff Writer and

It was the shortest City Council meeting in Baldwin Park history. And possibly the most germ-free.

"Just as long as they don't take blood, it's OK," said City Clerk Linda Gair as the Baldwin Park City Council met Wednesday night for the first time since the state Legislature empowered the council's two remaining members to act as a quorum.

But instead of gathering in the council chambers, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Gibson convened the meeting in Room 305 at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, where Councilman Bobbie Izell was recovering from surgery.

"I had my suit, my shower, everything ready for the council meeting tonight," said Izell, 61, who was admitted to the hospital April 30 with a prostate infection. Further tests revealed polyps on Izell's colon, which were removed earlier Wednesday, extending his stay.

"It's the same thing (President) Reagan had," said Izell, who was dressed in orange pajamas for the occasion.

Brief Agenda

Over the patient's objections, city officials kept the agenda brief.

Both Gibson and Izell voted to spend $215,792.10 to pay the city's employees and $783,391.78 on other bills. Little more than a minute had passed when Izell moved to adjourn.

Six people were at the meeting in Izell's room, which he shared with another patient who happened to have two visitors at the time. A curtain was pulled to give each group a semblance of privacy.

"I didn't know if I should call someone to see if this is OK," said Verna Ayres, a registered nurse and unit coordinator for the hospital floor. She said it was the first time a council meeting had been held bedside at the hospital.

Wednesday's meeting beat the previous record for brevity, set about four years ago, when the full council met for 3 1/2 minutes.

"And that had a flag salute," Gair said.

"There wasn't much on the agenda (Wednesday)," said City Manager Ralph Webb.

Result of Recall

Izell and Gibson were empowered to act as a quorum after Mayor Jack B. White and Councilman Leo W. King were recalled from office in a special election March 31.

A third vacancy occurred when Robert H. McNeill, whose name also appeared on the recall ballot, died in December. The vote on McNeill ended in a tie, technically keeping him on the council and leaving a majority in place.

Had all three members been recalled, White and King would have been allowed to remain on the council until their successors were elected in July. Instead, White and King were required under state law to step down from their positions, leaving only two members on the council.

2 Act as Majority

Special legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D-El Monte) late last month gave Gibson and Izell the authority to act as a majority on council matters.

"It's not a very pretty picture," Gibson said. "The unfortunate happening to Mr. Izell, that he would become ill now, has stymied the city of Baldwin Park."

Meanwhile, Izell was looking forward to being released over the weekend. The council is expected to hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

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