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Dymally Says He Will Seek Peace With Compton Council

June 11, 1989|MICHELE FUETSCH | Times Staff Writer

COMPTON — Now that two city councilmen have been ousted by candidates backed by Rep. Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Compton), the congressman says he plans to appeal to the council to end the bad blood that has made him persona non grata in City Hall.

"The first Tuesday that I have open," Dymally said, "I will either fly in there or stay over (after a weekend in the district) and go publicly to the council and ask for a reconciliation."

As an example of the strained relations between the council and the congressman, two council members last fall voted against his request to use the council chambers for a congressional hearing on gangs and drugs.

Councilman Robert L. Adams and former Councilman Floyd A. James opposed the proposed hearing site even though the week before a Republican legislator used the chambers for the same purpose, Dymally said.

But James was defeated in the April primary by Patricia Moore, who once worked for Dymally and received his support in the campaign. Adams was defeated in last week's runoff election by Compton school trustee Bernice Woods, who was also backed by Dymally.

Moore said she was delighted to hear that her former boss plans to come before the council and she predicted he will be welcomed.

'Must Work Together'

"It's a new day in Compton," Moore said. "James and Adams are no longer here and we have a council that recognizes that we must work together. . . . The city has such problems, it deserves the best representation." James and Adams could not be reached for comment.

Moore has been appointed to replace James, who resigned before his term expired to wage a write-in campaign against Adams and Woods in the runoff election. Woods will take her place on the council July 1.

Dymally's peace overture is aimed, he admits, at Mayor Walter R. Tucker. The congressman and Tucker have also been at odds for years. In last week's election, Dymally supported Tucker's unsuccessful opponent, Chuck (E .Boyd) Esters Jr.

Dymally said he supported Esters because the mayoral candidate's father, a prominent Compton clergyman, is a "dear, dear friend of mine."

Moore said she believes that the mayor will accept Dymally's offer to settle their differences. "I think Tucker is glad to be back in office and he wants to work with everybody," Moore said.

Tucker could not be reached for comment.

The congressman says he cannot pinpoint a specific reason or a starting point for the hostilities between him and some local politicians.

Contributed to Ill Will

But there is no doubt that his support of challengers to the mayor and two other councilmen in the last four years contributed to the ill will. Four years ago, he also supported Moore and another City Council candidate when they unsuccessfully challenged James and Adams.

However, when James was later indicted for election fraud, Dymally said, he offered to testify on James' behalf.

Dymally's activism on behalf of local candidates has been branded as bossism by local politicians. Tucker's campaign literature, for example, charged that Esters was a "puppet" of Dymally and "bought and paid for by him."

In a telephone interview from his Washington office, Dymally said he wants to work with Compton to solve some of its problems and help bring more resources to the city, particularly in the area of job opportunities for young people.

"Compton is the only city that does not use my services in Congress," Dymally said. "I am the only member of Congress who has ever had an office there. . . . I bought a condo there. Hawthorne and Gardena want me," he said.

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