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Community Digest

Bell : Ex-Councilman Mirabal Appointed to Price's Seat

April 01, 1993

The City Council has appointed former Councilman George Mirabal to finish the term of Mayor Jay Price, who died of heart failure March 22. Mirabal will relinquish his post as city clerk when he joins the council Monday.

Council members said they chose Mirabal because of his familiarity with the city's Administration, his record of community service and because he is Latino. Although 86% of the city's 34,365 residents are Latino, all of the current council members are Anglo.

"I would not have appointed a non-Latino to the council. I think (we) need to reflect the makeup of the community," Councilman George Cole said. "The main criteria, though, is that (Mirabal) is a real community leader. His business is here and he knows how local government works. He is the right person for the job."

Mirabal, 43, is the second Latino to sit on the council since the city incorporated nearly seven decades ago. Joseph Raymond served from 1964 to 1976.

Mirabal served one term on the council from 1986 to 1990 but did not seek reelection because of personal problems. Last April, he was elected to a four-year term as city clerk. The council will choose a replacement for that job later this month.

Council members who served with Mirabal said he was instrumental in establishing the city's downtown redevelopment district and in building the Bell Palm Plaza on Atlantic Avenue, just east of City Hall.

Mirabal has also headed several community groups, including two stints as president of the Bell Chamber of Commerce and two terms as president of the Maywood-Bell-Cudahy Kiwanis Club. He also was vice president of the Southeast Hispanic Business and Professional Assn.

Mirabal, vice president of Mirabal Mortuary in Bell, will serve the remainder of Price's term, which ends in April, 1994. He plans to seek reelection to the seat.

"These are trying times," Mirabal said. "There is much more of a challenge now than three years ago" when he served on the council. "We have severe problems with state (cuts). We've got to be creative to generate new revenues."

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