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County and Local Propositions That Merit the Voters' Support

LOCAL MEASURES: A Look at Key Issues on the Nov. 8 Ballot. One in a series.

October 23, 1994

Voters in Los Angeles County will find one county and several local propositions on the Nov. 8 ballot. The Times endorses the following selected measures.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY-- CHARTER AMENDMENT A: Gives the County Board of Supervisors flexibility to increase or decrease the compensation for the post of district attorney, assessor or sheriff. (The assessor earns $124,000 a year, the district attorney $159,000 and the sheriff $202,000.)

Charter Amendment A would permit the board to increase or decrease the pay of a midterm appointee in any of these offices or, 30 days or more before an election, to increase or decrease the compensation of a yet-to-be-elected non-incumbent ; the compensation of a reelected incumbent would not be affected. (All five supervisors support the measure on the ground it could save county money. Vote for it.

EL RANCHO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT--BOND MEASURE C: Permits the El Rancho Unified School District in Pico Rivera to issue $13.3 million in general-obligation bonds in order to upgrade facilities including fire, earthquake, electrical and security systems; provide students with access to modern technology; renovate or replace obsolete facilities; construct permanent facilities, and make improvements to older buildings on district property. The measure requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday November 1, 1994 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 6 Column 3 Letters Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Salaries--An editorial (Oct. 23) incorrectly listed salaries for the Los Angeles county assessor and district attorney. The district attorney receives $124,000 and the assessor $159,000.

Voters last approved new bonds in 1969; repayment of those bonds through a property tax averaging $27 a year is to continue for three years. If approved, Measure C would continue this $27-a-year average property assessment for a period not to exceed 25 years. Improving schools deserves voter support.

LA VERNE, LANCASTER, SAN DIMAS AND WALNUT--MEASURES E, F, G AND L: Asks voters in each of these cities if they support the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors creation of a community facilities district (CFD). This is an advisory vote only. Property owners in cities that join the CFD would be subject to an assessment on their property taxes, when needed, to increase materials, hours and days of service at the county public library branches in their communities. In recent years the budget of the county public library system has lost about $30 million because of cutbacks in state allocations of property tax money. The board recently decided to use $22.5 million in general funds instead of imposing assessments. But the CFD was not dismantled and will be needed if assessments are considered again in the future.

Unincorporated areas of the county, with their 28 branch libraries, are automatically included in the CFD. Incorporated communities can be included only if their city councils approve. La Verne, Lancaster, San Dimas and Walnut are holding the advisory vote to determine whether their communities favor being included in the CFD in fiscal year 1995-96. Voters should support these library measures.

LONG BEACH--BOND MEASURE D: Authorizes the issuance of up to $48 million in general-obligation bonds to finance improvements to city facilities, bringing them into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Under Title II of the act, the city is required to make its programs, services and activities accessible to people with disabilities.

At present, Long Beach has no other general-bond indebtedness. The measure is endorsed by the mayor, the City Council and the city's police officers and firefighters, as well as the city's Citizens Advisory Commission on Disabilities. Measure D deserves a "yes" vote.

SAN MARINO--SPECIAL TAX I: Renews a special public safety tax for paramedic services, police protection and fire protection and prevention. The current levy expires in 1995.

Revenues raised by the tax, which requires approval by two-thirds of those voting, could be used only for police, fire and paramedic services. In fiscal year 1995-96, owners of the smallest homes would pay no more than $324, owners of the largest homes a maximum of $881 and the average homeowner $447.

The ordinance--which provides tax credits for seniors and for some homeowners who bought their homes in particular years--would expire June 30, 1999. Extending the levy makes sense.

SANTA MONICA--CHARTER AMENDMENT J: The Santa Monica City Charter currently requires that the complete text of a newly adopted ordinance be published in a newspaper within 15 days of the ordinance's adoption by the City Council. Amendment J authorizes the publication of an ordinance's summary, prepared by the city attorney, instead of the complete text. This would be consistent with state law, which permits the publication of ordinance summaries.

The annual cost of publishing the city's new ordinances (which average 54 per year) ranges from $40,000 to $60,000. The amendment would save the city money. Vote "yes."

SANTA MONICA/MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT--MEASURE K: Permits the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District to continue a special tax that funds educational improvements in the district. The district's board is now asking voters to extend the $58 special parcel tax for six years and increase it to $68 per parcel annually. The measure requires a two-thirds majority for passage. It deserves approval.

The Times believes these measures all deserve support on Election Day.

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