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L.A. Opportunity for Pioneering

March 27, 1986

If you are sincerely trying to reduce our government spending, we must look to more than just the federal government. Instead of relying on the "trickle-down" theory, we might start at the local level and weed out the obvious dead weight.

Rhode Island has four political subdivisions. The elected administrations govern nearly equal portions of the state. One of the cities within the area is the focal point of local government.

Connecticut also uses this city or town system as its major governmental unit.

Louisiana uses the county system but calls it a "parish," (after the original European medieval system of church government).

There are several obvious examples of attempts to save duplication of political effort. Nebraska's unicameral legislature is one.

Los Angeles has a great opportunity to pioneer political savings. We desperately need more city councilmen/women to augment this body. It must enable the people to be represented at the "grass-roots" level. It is ludicrous for one councilman/woman to represent 200,000 plus individuals.

Chicago has 50 councilmen representing what they designate as wards (1 represents approximately 75,000 people). New York City has divided itself into boroughs. It has 43 council members representing roughly 93,000 citizens, each.

San Francisco has identical city and county borders, as does Denver, Colo. Los Angeles should do likewise. The L.A. City Council could be redistricted. The present 15 members could be enlarged to 50. Each would represent 90,000 voters.

The L.A. County could be abolished. The city police would absorb the sheriff and marshals. Same would happen to the fire and health services, taxing, licensing, etc.

The five county supervisors and their offices would be eliminated. Each probably would be elected as one of the new L.A. city councilmen. An extremely large and expensive (multimillion-dollar budget) would be partially eliminated by cutting away their duplication of services.

It is possible to live without a county system. New York and Greater London (32 metropolitan boroughs) operate without overlapping county administrations and the resultant duplicity.

Los Angeles, one of the world's largest cities, should enact legislation, with the help of the California Legislature, if need be, to accomplish this goal.

HUGH S. JENINGS

Covina

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