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Community News Focus

FULLERTON : 3 Take Council Posts in Wake of Recall Vote

October 26, 1994|MIMI KO

Three City Council members, ousted from office in a recall election over a controversial utility tax they passed, stepped down from office Tuesday and handed over their seats to their replacements.

Peter Godfrey, Conrad DeWitte and Jan M. Flory were inaugurated Tuesday night, a week after they won office in a special recall election to fill the unexpired terms of Mayor A.B. (Buck) Catlin, Councilman Don Bankhead and Councilwoman Molly McClanahan.

Flory and DeWitte face reelection on Nov. 8, because Catlin and McClanahan's terms would have expired then. Godfrey will remain in office until 1996, which is when Bankhead's term would have ended.

A number of community leaders, friends, business owners and city groups honored the recalled council members with a standing ovation and words of priase for their service.

After being sworn into office, the new council members and their colleagues, Julie Sa and Chris Norby, voted on a new mayor and mayor pro tem.

The council elected Sa as the new mayor and Norby as mayor pro tem.

Catlin, McClanahan and Bankhead last year approved a 2% utility-user tax, prompting the Fullerton Recalls Committee to form and lead a successful campaign to oust them.

The council voted to begin discussions regarding repealing the utility tax at next week's council meeting. DeWitte and Godfrey said they would vote to repeal the tax. Flory said she supports the tax only until it expires in September, 1995, unless it can be repealed without causing cuts in city services.

Catlin has said he predicts the tax will not be rescinded because it is expected to provide the city's general fund with $4.6 million in revenue in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 fiscal years. It was enacted, he said, to balance the city's $81.2-million budget and keep the council from having to cut emergency services.

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