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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Cityhood Study Petition Short by 2,604 Signatures

October 21, 2000

HOLLYWOOD — A petition drive aimed at initiating a government study into the feasibility of cityhood for Hollywood hit a snag Friday as Los Angeles County elections officials said that incorporation backers are 2,604 signatures short.

Leaders of Hollywood Voters Organized Toward Empowerment, or VOTE, have two more weeks to gather additional signatures and reach the 19,660-name requirement needed to trigger the study.

"We start going door to door again Saturday," said Gene La Pietra, founder of the group. "We'll be at every supermarket and in every neighborhood."

County officials blamed duplicate signatures on petitions for the shortfall. Under the law, at least 25% of an area's registered voters must petition for an incorporation study before Los Angeles County's Local Agency Formation Commission can initiate a financial feasibility study. The Hollywood area has about 80,000 registered voters.

Incorporation backers in the San Fernando Valley and in the San Pedro area indicated Friday they will help the group gather extra signatures. "We hope to provide six to 10 people both this weekend and next," said Andrew Mardesich, executive director of the Harbor Study Foundation, which is San Pedro's incorporation group.

Advocates of breaking Los Angeles into four cities hope to qualify the Valley, Harbor and Hollywood secession movements for a 2001 vote.

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