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Policeman Wins Seat on South Gate Council

March 09, 1989|MARY LOU FULTON | Times Staff Writer

SOUTH GATE — Former Planning Commissioner Gregory Slaughter easily defeated four other candidates Tuesday to win the City Council seat vacated by the death of Dorothea Lombardo.

Slaughter won with 1,811 votes, followed by former Councilman Henry C. Gonzales with 1,467, Jerry Garcia with 254, David (Eddie) Frantz with 172, and Rogelio Cuevas with 10.

Slaughter, a Santa Monica police officer, promoted himself as a tough-on-crime candidate who wanted to expand the city's police force to combat an increasing gang problem. Slaughter also questioned the integrity of Gonzales, who challenged the results of last April's council election in which Lombardo defeated him by 7 votes.

"The voters indicated they wanted a change in April, 1988," Slaughter said. "They are re-emphasizing that change with my election."

Slaughter said one of his priorities will be to reopen the State Street fire station, which was closed by Los Angeles County fire protection officials after the city refused to pay increased service fees. He also said he will work to establish police substations, one on the south side and another on the west side of the city, to deal with South Gate's growing crime problems.

The new councilman said he will be making some changes in Lombardo's appointees to city commissions. Planning Commissioner Lillie Guastavino, who died last week, will be replaced by Johnny Ramirez, a South Gate resident and manager of a savings and loan institution in Marina del Rey, Slaughter said. He also plans to make one or two changes among Lombardo's four appointees to the city Citizen's Advisory Committee.

Gonzales, who served on the council from 1982 to 1988, said Wednesday that he has not decided whether he will seek public office again.

The City Council decided to hold a special election rather than appoint a council member after Lombardo, a longtime local activist, died in November. Slaughter, 41, will be sworn in Tuesday evening and complete Lombardo's term, which expires in 1992.

The voter turnout of 3,754 for the special election--about 21% of those registered--"was pretty good, for us," City Clerk Janet Stubbs said. About 22% of city voters turned out for the April, 1988, council election, she said.

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