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South Gate : Edison Buyout Abandoned

October 01, 1987

The City Council is abandoning a proposal to buy the Southern California Edison Co. system in South Gate. The council voted 4 to 0, with one councilman abstaining, to remove the issue from its agenda.

"It is a dead issue," City Administrator Bruce Spragg said. "Removing it from the agenda killed it."

Mayor Henry C. Gonzalez said "it was in the best interest of the city" to not take over Edison after citizens overwhelmingly opposed the plan.

More than 5,000 residents sent stamped post cards that Edison provided to City Hall opposing the proposal. More than 800 people attended a public hearing on the issue and voiced disapproval.

City officials had contended that by going into the electricity business, South Gate could raise money to replace about $1.2 million in lost federal revenue-sharing funds. The money would pay for such city services as police protection and recreational activities. Officials claimed the city could run the system more cheaply and pass some of the savings on to customers.

The council voted 3 to 0 last June to take over Edison operations by Jan. 1, 1988. But that was before the public outcry.

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