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BELLFLOWER : TV or Not TV? Council Keeps Cameras Rolling

January 20, 1994|EMILY ADAMS

Mayor Pro Tem Ken Cleveland has a problem--one with a little red light on top.

It's the video camera used to broadcast City Council meetings on cable television. Cleveland says he's fed up with political hopefuls and incumbents who play to the camera during election season, making lengthy speeches, dragging council meetings into the early morning. He wants the camera shut off until campaigns are over.

"They're all playing to the TV," Cleveland said. "They come to the meetings to do their political thing. They don't care if we're there until 2 a.m. listening to everyone. They make their speeches, then leave."

Cleveland is not up for reelection, but Mayor Bob Stone and Councilmen Bill Pendleton and John Ansdell are. And they all voted against Cleveland's recent proposal that televised broadcasts of the meetings be halted until after the April 12th election.

Still, Pendleton said Cleveland has a good point. "That podium is used by people with no scruples to promote themselves," Pendleton said. But he voted against the proposal because "if it had passed, it might have looked like we were trying to hide something."

Cleveland said he wasn't surprised by the 4-1 vote. "Everyone wants their time on TV," he said.

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