Redondo Mayor, Council Dean Sail on a Collision Course : Prospect of Appearing on TV Puts City Officials in a Sweat

Times Staff Writer

Councilwoman Marcia Martin said it makes her look "shiny and sweaty." Councilwoman Kay Horrell called it disruptive. Councilman Archie Snow said he won't have anything to do with it until he sees how he looks on television.

The issue was the broadcasting of council meetings on cable TV, and the City Council broke into a collective sweat Monday night when Mayor Barbara Doerr suggested that it might be a good idea in Redondo Beach.

Doerr met last week with William Whetstone, new general manager of Century Cable, which serves the city, and she said the firm was receptive to the idea. Numerous South Bay cities, including Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and El Segundo, broadcast their council meetings.

Doerr, who has no vote on council issues and no dependable ally on the council, asked the five-member panel to place the issue on next week's agenda for discussion.

The council was not interested.

"I want to have a trial run to see ourselves before we put it on the boob tube," Snow said.

"I don't think it is in the best interest of doing business to have disruptions," Horrell said. "It is quite disruptive to this council."

"We would just like to think about it," said Councilman Jack Chapman.

Martin, who said she would support televising the meetings if the city beefed up its air conditioning to cool off hot camera lights, voted with Councilman Ron Cawdrey in favor of at least discussing the issue next week. The other three members scoffed.

Doerr responded incredulously to the council's refusal to even consider the suggestion, chiding Snow, Chapman and Horrell for "depriving" the community of greater access to local government.

"I think the issue is not our appearance," the mayor said. "The idea is, do we want the public to be aware and follow city business?"

The three council members listened quietly and waited for the mayor's next request--this time for approval of an appointment to the Harbor Review Board--which they also promptly denied.

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