Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla on Monday said he is against placing on the November ballot a plan to carve the city into boroughs as an alternative to secession by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood.
In a speech to a downtown business group, Padilla drew applause from most in the audience when he laid out arguments against secession. But he said the borough plan would confuse voters and add layers of government.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 27, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 10 inches; 386 words Type of Material: Correction
Boroughs--A story in some editions of Tuesday's California section said that a proposed borough system for Los Angeles would result in a 45-member City Council. Under the proposal, each of nine boroughs actually would have its own five-member board that would deal with local issues. Citywide matters would be handled by a board of nine borough presidents.
"More politicians?" Padilla said at the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum. "Is that what the public wants?.... We should not rush into putting a hastily written measure on the ballot."
Padilla has been skeptical of the borough plan since competing proposals were presented several weeks ago by Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks). Monday, he made his opposition clear, weakening the proposals' prospects for getting council approval.
Padilla said he does not believe voters will look kindly on the Hertzberg plan, which would split the city into nine boroughs, each with five council members. The resulting council would have 45 members, three times the current number.
In recent years, he noted, voters have rejected proposals to expand the county Board of Supervisors and increase the number of Los Angeles council members.
Padilla said Greuel's proposal seems rushed. It calls for creation of a commission that would draft a specific borough plan within a year, then place it on the ballot.
Hertzberg said later that he did not count Padilla among the supporters of his proposal. Eight council members must approve putting the borough plan before the voters.
"During these difficult times for our city," Hertzberg said, "I had hoped he'd be more open to an idea that responds to the legitimate concerns of the voters of the Valley, whom we both represent."
Greuel spokesman Matt Szabo said, "The councilwoman has great faith in the voters' ability to see what is best for our city government."
Times staff writer Sharon Bernstein contributed to this story.