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Redondo Beach mayor dies at 65 of lung cancer

REDONDO BEACH, CA-NOVEMBER 22, 2019: Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand is photographed next to the AES Power Plant in Redondo Beach that is currently supposed to close in 2020 due to environmental regulations. California's State Water Resources Control Board is considering a request from the Public Utilities Commission to allow this power plant to stay open longer. Brand is opposed to the extension. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)
Bill Brand, who was a councilman at the time, is photographed next to the AES Power Plant in Redondo Beach. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Bill Brand, the mayor of Redondo Beach, died Friday evening of lung cancer, according to city officials. He was 65.

Brand had been battling cancer for more than four years, but his health took a "sudden turn" for the worse in recent days, according to a city statement. Brand's wife and other family and friends were by his side in the end.

Brand was serving his second term as Redondo Beach's mayor, after previously serving two terms on the City Council. He had remained in office despite undergoing intense treatments and being hospitalized several times.

Bill Brand is currently serving his second term as the 30th Mayor of the City of Redondo Beach.
Bill Brand (City of Redondo Beach)

Brand was born in Texas, but had lived in the South Bay since moving there as a child in 1966. "Finding the Seaside Lagoon, he thought that he had found heaven," the city's statement said.

Other officials in the region took to X, formerly Twitter, to mourn Brand's death.

"Bill Brand was my dear friend and even though we knew this day would be coming, it hurts to say goodbye," wrote L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

"Elected office can be a challenge, but being Mayor of Redondo Beach came naturally to Bill. He embodied the South Bay," Hahn wrote. "He was passionate about his work as Mayor, fighting corporate developers to preserve the beach community he loved, but he also made time for surf breaks."

County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath wrote that Brand had made "a lasting impact on the community [and] all who knew him."

County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell wrote that Brand "was a fighter who kept showing up to serve" even while battling cancer. "We have lost a leader who loved the South Bay and fought with all his heart to protect our environment."

Mitchell cited in particular Brand's role in the recent closure of the AES Redondo Beach power plant, which she said was "just one example of Bill's lasting impact."

Brand got involved in politics first "as a concerned resident, then as a champion for open space," creating the nonprofit South Bay Parkland Conservancy, the city's statement said. Only then did he run for office.

Living to see the closure of the AES plant, which he had fought so hard for, "was an accomplishment of which he was extremely proud," the city statement said.

In lieu of flowers, Brand's family asked for donations in his memory to the conservancy, or to Cancer Support Community South Bay.

Flags at Redondo Beach City Hall were to fly at half-staff in Brand's honor. Information on services were not provided.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.