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City Hall : SOUTH EL MONTE : Name Change Proposed for City

January 20, 1994|RICHARD WINTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

How can you raise property values instantly in the midst of a recession?

A simple name change ought to do it, some council members believe.

Councilman Art Olmos came up with the idea of changing South El Monte's name to Santa Anita or Potrero Grande. Such a change would send property values up, he said.

Santa Anita is the name of the city's main thoroughfare, and the Potrero family originally settled the area.

South El Monte officials are quick to emphasize that their city, a mixture of well-kept houses, run-down neighborhoods and light industry, is different from El Monte, with a much lower crime rate. South El Monte was incorporated in 1958 and has about 22,000 residents.

Among South El Monte council members, only Vera Valdiviez opposed the name change outright at last week's meeting. But the 30 or so long-time residents who showed up at the meeting opposed the change.

After listening to residents express their opposition, council members opted for a series of public hearings rather than a ballot measure on the name-change idea. The hearing dates have not been set.

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