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Antonovich's Fifth District

September 05, 1993

* In response to Scott Harris' column, "Barbie to Mike: Walk It Like You Talk It," Aug. 12:

The talent pool in The Times must be running dry when you continue to utilize the machinations of a fantasy-dominated reporter who denies he is any more than a mere "friend" of Barbie, a toy doll who apparently is his chief political adviser.

Harris is correct when he says my payroll is larger than that of other county supervisors. But Barbie and Scott apparently don't comprehend the fact that the five districts are not equal in size. For example, the Fifth District, which I represent:

--Covers nearly 2,900 square miles, is 70% of Los Angeles County and includes more total area and unincorporated area than the other four districts combined. It is 18 times larger than the 159-square-mile Second District.

--Is home to the largest population and the most registered voters, has nearly twice the number of registered voters than can be counted in the First District.

--Is spread over the Antelope, Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, thus requiring five (619, 714, 805, 818 and 909) telephone area codes.

--Nearly 60% of all land issues that have come before the board since the beginning of the year involved Fifth District properties--once again, involving more staff time and administrative decisions than the other districts combined.

When I ran for office in 1980, the residents of my district were disenfranchised by distance and by official disinterest. I made a campaign pledge to the people in 1980 to establish full-service field offices. I kept that promise and have been reelected three times, primarily because of superior constituent service, and, quite possibly, because of The Times' opposition.

While we currently are experiencing critical budget problems, my office operation, like all other supervisorial offices, is being scaled back.

While your reporter ducks his original premise by attacking me, he cannot defend his support of raising taxes in the City of Los Angeles to beef up the Police Department. Such a tactic was rejected by the voters and your new mayor is on the right track. Mayor Richard Riordan was elected on a platform that will get the job done by cutting the city's bloated bureaucracy, privatizing trash collection and the airport operation, thus generating the revenue to add 3,000 police officers to the over-worked and understaffed force.

It was this kind of creative planning that resulted in the successful privatizing of the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena Airport.

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

Supervisor, Fifth District

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