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City Council Blocks Measure on Boroughs

July 20, 2002

Re "Borough Measure for Ballot Rejected," July 17: I have felt for years that there needs to be much more local control of zoning and other budgetary issues in the city of Los Angeles. This is why I have long been a strong supporter of Valley secession. Only recently have I reconsidered the idea of secession, as some of the wiser City Council members have started discussing a borough plan.

The neighborhood councils are powerless to make change. If modeled after New York's borough system, the council members could have found jobs as mayors of their respective boroughs. Now they will be lucky if Valley residents support them in their likely bids to be council members or mayor of a new Valley city.

It is a shame, but as it now stands after the City Council vote, residents who seek more local control are left with no alternatives to secession. Only the City Council itself can be blamed for allowing the San Fernando Valley to secede from Los Angeles.

Howard Schlossberg

Woodland Hills

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Valley secessionist David Fleming assures us that the San Fernando Valley's poor, overwhelmingly residing in the northeast section, can only benefit from a brave new city spun off from old, stodgy, unresponsive Los Angeles (Opinion, July 14). He assures us that "a lot of people who live in the hills are more concerned about the poor"--presumably meaning more concerned about them than are the present city government and Los Angeles' general population.

Snake oil is snake oil, whether the salesman believes in it or not. If the Valley splits from Los Angeles, poor residents of the new city will certainly enjoy higher taxes, but they will suffer the same neglect. Better to force more responsiveness to the Valley's poor from our current, unimaginative city government than to weaken their voice even more by giving Valley fat cats power to run the whole show.

Bill Becker

Woodland Hills

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Some Valley secessionists would have us believe that an independent Valley would be like Burbank. I've lived in Burbank and remarked at the time that the streets were in a much better state of repair than adjacent streets in Los Angeles.

But the Valley is far too large and has much too much poverty to ever be like Burbank, whether independent or not. And the money we would hope to devote to fixing up our streets would be swallowed up by lawyers in the years of litigation that would follow secession.

Morris Schorr

Woodland Hills

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