Newly elected Brawley council member wants to get tough on vandalism

Brawley has new city council face

BRAWLEY, Calif. -

City of Brawley got a new face in its council at Tuesday’s reorganization meeting, and a familiar one, as well.

Newly elected Brawley City Council Member Luke Hamby said he’s the new kid in town and he’s spoiling to fight vandalism.

“I think it probably needs to be attacked from several different angles. One, obviously, law enforcement has to be on top of that. Maybe we need to put together a task force that deals directly with that,” Hamby said.

He wants to rally the community behind the fight, as well.

“Secondly, I think the more we can involve the community, including the younger kids that may be perpetrating that, the more of a vested interest they’ll have in their community and they won’t be as inclined to mess that up,” Hamby added.

He wants to deal with unoccupied buildings which he said might attract vandalism.

“Introduce ordinances that will motivate those business owners, those property owners to maintain their buildings, get them into rentable or sellable condition,” Hamby explained.

Jesus Antonio Reynoso, a downtown business owner, said neglected and vandalized buildings hurt his business.

“The appearance is really bad. And that really affects any kind of business, any new business, when it comes to the downtown. It will affect you, all of us,” Reynoso said.

Hamby will push for enforcing city laws in order to promote business growth.

“Because without teeth, without enforcement, there’s no motivation to maintain something that’s not making you any money,” Hamby said.

Luke Hamby takes the seat left by outgoing Helen Noriega. Sam Couchman was re-elected for another term. George Nava became the new city mayor and Donnie Wharton is the mayor pro-tem.

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