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Brea’s former mayors set the pace for our future

4 months ago by in ( Uncategorized )
Did you know Brea has 14 living former mayors, all appointed by their peers, 10 who still live in Brea?

    They have presided over Brea during different eras and often under challenging conditions, but I am only highlighting former mayors not currently on council.

      Mayor Lynn Daucher is seen in this 1998 photo at the helm of a bulldozer for the groundbreaking of Brea Downtown. (Courtesy of Lynn Daucher)


        Our living former mayors date back to 1964, when then 28-year-old Thomas Speers was appointed mayor for a two-year term. Speers now lives in Colorado, and recalled how he and his council were successful in changing the position of city administrator to a full-time city manager and other professional staffing needed for a growing city.

          During Rex Gaede’s turn as mayor in 1977, he was instrumental in changing the mayoral term from two years to one year so more council members could serve in the center seat. Gaede’s most memorable mayor moment was presiding over the opening of the Brea Mall, a very big deal for the community.

            Ron Isles, who now lives in Arkansas, served on the council two times, and as mayor in 1982 and again in 1992. He said he worked with the city manager and finance manager to set minimum budget constraints to assure that Brea would always have money and be able to pay its bills. That seems to still be the case today.

              A big change came in 1984 when Norma Arias Hicks Buckeye, now of Fallbrook, was appointed mayor. She was the first woman and first Hispanic to be elected to Brea’s City Council. She was instrumental in getting Sacramento bigwigs to create Chino Hills State Park, and also fought the landfill expansion.

                Carrey Nelson, our oldest living mayor at age 90, served as mayor in 1984 and 1990. He served 14 years on council, and the downtown’s huge transformation came under his watch.

                  Mayor in 1990, Wayne Wedin said working with a strong team of staff, council and the community was successful as was developing a strong relationship with the school district. He was also instrumental in starting Brea’s Art in Public Places.

                    Burnie Dunlap became mayor in 1992, 1993 and 1996. A highlight of being mayor was the completion of the Brea Community Center. He now lives in Anaheim Hills, but says he still loves Brea!

                      Bev Perry, mayor in 1995, 2000 and 2003, became mayor in 1995 and the next day Orange County declared bankruptcy. She spent much of that year in meetings with other O.C. cities who also had money invested with the county. In the end, she said, they were able to craft a deal that returned nearly all of Brea’s money back to the city.

                        Lynn Daucher, mayor 1997-98, said her most memorable mayor moment was at the downtown groundbreaking in October 1998. She said it was culmination of years of hard work by several city councils, but the best part was Daucher at the controls of the bulldozer. Something I doubt she has repeated.

                          John Beauman, mayor in 2004 and 2009, especially enjoyed commemorating the Brea Sports Park opening in 2008, and also serving as president of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities.

                            Former police chief Bill Lentini was mayor in 2004. His goal on council was to help bring civility back to our local government and finally make the sports park a reality. During his mayoral year, he saw the revitalization of South Brea Boulevard and safeguards set for the hillsides.

                              Don Schweitzer was mayor in 2008 and 2012, following in the mayoral footsteps from the past of his father and grandfather. His favorite accomplishment as mayor was presenting the idea of a Brea war memorial, getting it funded and finally built.

                                Ron Garcia served as Brea’s mayor in 2006. Unfortunately he did not respond to my requests.

                                  Brett Murdock served as Brea’s mayor in 2014 and worked hard on the Lagos de Moreno Park rehabilitation project at Laurel School. “It will be an incredible addition to our great city and school district,” he said.

                                    Murdock is the only former mayor who stated he is seriously considering running again for office. Which one? He didn’t say.

                                      Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at daxoncomm@earthlink.net.
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"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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