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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Council Panel Urges Funds for Secession Study

July 30, 1999

LOS ANGELES — A new City Council committee on secession held its inaugural meeting Thursday and recommended that the city pay the final 10% of the cost for a study of the San Fernando Valley's proposed split from the city.

The five-member panel recommended that Los Angeles fund the remaining $225,000 needed to cover the Valley secession study, which is expected to cost $2.3 million. Council members Joel Wachs, Cindy Miscikowski and Rudy Svorinich supported the recommendation, with Nate Holden dissenting. Nick Pacheco was not present.

"It's important that we give a signal that we will cooperate," Wachs said, rejecting suggestions that the panel wait to act until the costs of studying secession are better known.

The state Legislature agreed to pay $1.8 million, or 80%, of the study's cost, and the county Board of Supervisors agreed to fund another 10%. But the final 10% is still unfunded.

The panel also agreed to recommend that the city pick up 10% of the cost of a study on San Pedro-Wilmington secession from Los Angeles. County officials announced Wednesday that, as in the Valley, activists in the harbor communities have raised enough signatures to trigger a study of municipal divorce.

However, council members disagreed over what to do if the remainder of the harbor-area secession study goes unfunded.

Svorinich argued that if the other agencies refuse to fund the harbor study, the city should. But Holden, an unabashed secession foe, said making that declaration amounts to the city telling the state and county that they do not have to share the tab.

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