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BRADBURY : Council Names 2 to Fill Seats Vacated in Recall


The Bradbury City Council appointed two new members Monday to fill seats vacated in November's recall.

Because Mark Flewelling and Rick Barakat were the only candidates to file for the posts, the city made the appointments in lieu of an election.

Flewelling, a business attorney and six-year Bradbury resident, was appointed to fill the seat of former Mayor Audrey Hon. Barakat, a business-owner and four-year resident, will fill the seat of former Councilman Tom Melbourn.

Hon and Melbourn were recalled in November, seven months after former City Manager Aurora (Dolly) Vollaire was fired for spending tens of thousands of city dollars on personal luxury items. Some residents complained that council members had failed to notice Vollaire's spending habits.

Council members new and old said Monday's appointments heralded a new era of clean government and community involvement in Bradbury.

"What I hope to do first is to restore confidence in city hall," Flewelling said of his tenure.

Flewelling said he hopes to more closely scrutinize city contracts, some of which he said never went to bid during Vollaire's term, and diversify the city's investments in order to protect them.

He also hopes to open the line of communication to city officials, and bring residents of the city's disparate council districts together.

"I think that we need to restore a sense of community. Certainly the last year has been a tumultuous one," he said.

Barakat won local fame when he dug through the city trash with resident Robert Penney Jr. last spring, uncovering city credit card receipts that betrayed Vollaire's expensive tastes.

"My main thing is just to try to make it harmonious," he said. "I want to make our city hall and its staff resident-friendly."

The new mix on the council should strengthen the city, he added.

"Pure iron is pure iron, but it takes impurities to make steel, the product you can use," he said. "I think our council needs diversity to make it strong. We've got a broader mix of backgrounds now."

The new council members join Mayor Audrey Chamberlain, a homemaker, Beatrice LaPisto-Kirtley, principal of Glassell Park Elementary School in Los Angeles, and John H. Richards, a Caltech professor who served as Bradbury's mayor for six years.

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