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East L.A. Cityhood On Last Leg

  • By Shel Segal
LOS ANGELES - Incorporation for East Los Angeles is on life support as the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Committee recommended at its Jan. 25 meeting at the Kenneth Hahn Administration Building to "disapprove" cityhood for the area, thus not allowing it to go before the electorate on the ballot.
The meeting was continued to 9 a.m. this Wednesday morning as the public hearing portion of the meeting ran over time with dozens of residents speaking out in support of cityhood.
Paul Novak, executive officer of LA LAFCO, said while the commission is still looking for ways to make cityhood viable, there isn't much that can be done at the last hour.
"The commission asked us to look into a half a dozen issues," Novak said. "We did that, but we're still recommending disapproval."
However, Ben Cardenas, president of the East Los Angeles Residents Association, said he feels the commission has not looked at the project from all possible angles.
"We proved the fiscal scenario to (Los Angeles County), but they simply were not interested," Cardenas said. "The (comprehensive fiscal analysis) said there was a $19 million, but it also determined that if East Los Angeles were to incorporate, the county would have $27 million of an economic windfall. We proposed to balance the budget while saving the county $10 million annually to move the proposal to the ballot.
"That way ultimately the residents of East L.A. get to determine their future."
Cardenas added he knows the project is holding on by a thread.
"On Wednesday, (LA LAFCO) will decide the fate of the project," Cardenas said. "All we're asking is that the commission directs its staff to come up with terms and conditions of economic feasibility so we can let it go on the ballot. We have enough support from the community. We have enough fiscal scenarios to close the gap."
(Shel Segal can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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