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VALLEY FOCUS | Northridge

Symposium to Assess Impacts of Secession

April 01, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Implications of the San Fernando Valley's possible secession from Los Angeles will be assessed in a symposium Thursday at Cal State Northridge.

The event, sponsored by CSUN's Center for Southern California Studies, will focus on the economics of operating a separate city, the tax base, employment and business trends, planning, land use and other issues, said Matthew Cahn, director of the center.

"Through this forum, we are trying to assess the impacts of what potential secession would mean, both for the city of Los Angeles as a whole and for the San Fernando Valley," Cahn said.

A panel of policy specialists, community and business leaders and elected officials will answer questions on how secession would affect the average resident on such matters as water supply and police and fire services, he said.

One of 12 panelists scheduled to participate in the forum is Richard Close, chairman of Valley VOTE, the group spearheading the secession drive.

"It's not a debate, pro or con," Cahn said. "Our mission is to inform the public, which is to say, rather than dealing from an emotional point of view, we will be looking at the potential impact of secession for residents."

Jeff Brain, president of Valley VOTE, said group leaders will launch a petition drive in late May to obtain 200,000 signatures.

Brain said the petition will be submitted to the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission for a study on the feasibility of the Valley becoming a separate city.

The public forum will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the CSUN Performing Arts Center at the University Student Union on the east end of campus, 18111 Nordhoff St.

For information, call (818) 677-6518.

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