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Questions and Answers on Secession

April 08, 2001

* San Fernando Valley residents have heard a lot of valid concerns about the "how" to split from the city of Los Angeles. But where is the "why" secession should occur?

As The Times' recent editorial asked ("Secession and Solomon, March 29), "What would the Valley gain from a municipal divorce?" Were we lured into assuming we have adopted a separatist mentality just because we voted to explore the hows with the Local Agency Formation Commission?

Los Angeles is one of a precious few cities governed under a charter granted by the state of California and is not under the thumb of the state Legislature like the others. It is puzzling as to why Valley residents would want to give up this cherished and rare right of self-governance.

Do not be railroaded into sacrificing or modifying this unique privilege or be exploited by a handful of unknown promoters with possible hidden agendas. Before we get too embroiled and distracted by the how, let us have some serious debate about the merits of why we should secede.


Studio City


Re "Residents Not Surprised by LAFCO Study," April 2.

Valley residents are not the only ones who are experiencing poor service, as documented by Patrick McGreevy: "Valley dwellers say they've experienced lack of city services firsthand."

When the city repaved our streets in the Hollywood Hills, they left a depression in front of our house, which continually fills up with water, mud and debris. This gooey mess is a safety hazard to pedestrians and cars, as well as an eyesore. Also, they did not finish the gutters, which are rough and uneven, and collect leaves, dirt and weeds. We did not have these problems before the repaving, as water and debris naturally flowed across the street and on down the hill.

I have written letters and made numerous phone calls over the past two years, trying to get these problems corrected, and I do not get any response. Maybe it is time for Hollywood to secede too.




If cowboy humorist Will Rogers were alive today and asked to comment on LAFCO's recent determination that Valley secession is both revenue neutral and feasible, his reply would be, "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure!"

The study was weighted down with numerous conflicts of interest. Its end result was predetermined. The only question was the rationalization used to reach that point.

If enacted, Valley secession could look forward to generating a multitude of costly and time-consuming litigations. It might then be renamed "the indigent attorney's social security and old age pension act."


Van Nuys

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