EAST LOS ANGELES - Representatives of the East Los Angeles Residents Association recently met with Los Angeles County officials to discuss how an incorporated East Los Angeles could be fiscally solvent.
Ben Cardenas, president of the association, said his group met with the county's director of unincorporated services along with the county CEO to fix differences that have been revealed by a recent study that said an incorporated East Los Angeles would be in the red for many years.
"We presented several requests to make the proposal feasible," Cardenas said. "We presented ways we can do that."
However, the fiscal reality is that cityhood still might be further away than anticipated.
"The shortfall is $19 million from the potential city of East Los Angeles, but the county's gain would be $26 million," Cardenas said. "We presented different scenarios of how we can close the shortfall and the county will save $7 million.
"An example would be the county continuing to spend Prop. 172 funds and they keep Belvedere Park and the county library under the county umbrella. That pretty much would help close the $19 million shortfall."
Cardenas said it's would be a win-win situation so the community could vote on it.
"That would make the proposal feasible, to make it go to the ballot as we're still on schedule for June 4, 2012," Cardenas said. "They just need to decide if they want to let East Los Angeles long-term economically viable. The beauty of the whole thing is we could close the gap and save the county $7 million of taxpayer money. It's a do-able thing."
However, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, whose district covers unincorporated East Los Angeles, still opposes incorporation for the area, said her spokesperson Roxane Marquez.
"(Molina) stands be her original comments" that a newly incorporated East Los Angeles would be fiscally insolvent.
(Shel Segal can be reached at