Councilman Wants to Quit, Be Succeeded by His Wife : Councilman Suggests Wife Succeed Him

Times Staff Writer

Councilman Michael Messina has told fellow City Council members that he will resign from office next month if they will appoint his wife, Barbara, as his successor.

Messina submitted his conditional letter of resignation this week, saying that new job responsibilities require him to be out of the city frequently. Messina is in charge of real estate acquisition and development for Lucky Stores in Nevada and Arizona.

Mayor Michael A. Blanco said the council will act on Messina's proposal at its meeting Aug. 26. Blanco said he will not commit himself to appointing Messina's wife until he can gauge public reaction to the idea.

But Councilman Talmage V. Burke said he believes that the council should follow Messina's wishes. He said Barbara Messina regularly attends council meetings and has been as involved in civic affairs as her husband. "I couldn't think of anyone who could do better," Burke said.

Messina said he will finish his term, which expires in December, 1986, unless the council agrees to appoint his wife. He said he has been able to attend all regularly scheduled council meetings so far, but his out-of-town trips require him to budget his time carefully. He noted that the office of mayor is rotated among council members and he is scheduled to become mayor in February. His wife would have time to handle the ceremonial chores as mayor, while he might not, he said.

"Being mayor takes so much more time," he said. "You're invited to so many things."

Barbara Messina, 45, said she has not decided whether to run for election on her own next year, but her present plan is simply to finish her husband's term.

Although she has been involved in many community activities, Barbara Messina said her most visible effort was organizing a picketing campaign against an Alhambra bookstore specializing in sexually oriented books and magazines. She said the picketing, backed by church groups, continued for five years, ending only when the bookstore closed.

She said she and her husband have similar views.

"We pretty much agree on most everything," she said, adding that if she is appointed to the council, she will consult her husband often, particularly on matters in which his real estate expertise could be helpful.

"Basically they (the voters) will be getting both of us," she said.

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