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Council Member Attempts to Right Perceived Wrong


MONTEREY PARK — When Marie Purvis believes she's been wronged, she never forgets it.

Three years ago, when she applied for a spot on the city's Planning Commission, the City Council disqualified her.

Purvis, who sought the planning post after she resigned in the middle of her second term on the city's Design Review Board, was told she couldn't be appointed because of a new city policy that two-term members of boards and commissions had to wait two years before joining another one, or before seeking a third term on the same board.

Purvis, who had a reputation as an outspoken critic of the council for many years, took it as a personal affront.

And now that she's on the City Council herself, Purvis has made an effort to change the 1988 decision that still bugs her today.

"They did that deliberately," fumed Purvis, complaining she was singled out while a local slow-growth activist was allowed to switch boards because of a loophole in the law. "I'd been very controversial for the last 25 years."

On Monday, Purvis, who was elected to the council last April , asked fellow council members to lift the two-year waiting period.

They rejected Purvis' proposal, but said they would consider reducing the waiting time to one year, and prohibiting two-term commissioners from switching to other boards.

Purvis said she wasn't just thinking of vindicating herself. The proposed change also would have helped Personnel Board member Lucy Ammeian stay on the board for a third four-year term.

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Betty Couch told Purvis not to take it personally.

"Marie, in my opinion you were not the target," Couch said.

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