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Secession Movement Roils Political Waters

July 22, 2002

"Marital Bliss Just Pipe Dream" (July 18), concerning the new cities' water supply in the event of secession, is inadequate in that it merely echoes the Local Agency Formation Commission's decision that the water supply is "community property" that can be divided just like any other asset. It ignores the fact that the Valley and Hollywood would be reneging on an agreement they made to annex to Los Angeles to obtain water from the Owens Valley. LAFCO's assumption is that this is no longer a valid legal agreement, and the new cities would retain proportional rights to this water, as well as the L.A. River water, after secession.

In the event of a severe drought and a water shortage, Los Angeles officials will have a first responsibility to their own citizens to prevent rationing. It is at that point that the annulment of annexation agreements and the question of who owns the water will come into play. My guess is that Los Angeles will not wait for such a crisis to occur and will litigate this matter immediately if the areas were to secede. Under these circumstances, why would any thinking person accept the risk of secession?

Leon Furgatch

Granada Hills

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The downtown elite loves to characterize the San Fernando Valley leaders as middle-aged, middle-class white guys. What do we see downtown? Middle-aged, off-the-scale rich white guys. Billionaire businessman Eli Broad owns Malibu property and doesn't want to grant public access to the beach. This is a man who is concerned about the downtrodden? Sure, as long as they don't tread near him. Ted Stein is a mega-millionaire real estate developer. Larry Levine, chairman of One Los Angeles, is a political consultant who makes a king's ransom representing downtown interests. And don't listen to the voodoo magic coming out of the latest self-anointed leader who trades his name and integrity for influence ("Invoking Magic Against Breakup," July 17). Earvin "Magic" Johnson, an ex-jock on a business-expansion tear and with political aspirations, does not represent the underclass. Get smart, Los Angeles. Wake up, San Fernando Valley. Take back control of your city. Show that the people are in charge on Nov. 5 and vote for city reorganization.

Michael N. Cohen

Reseda

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