The Vernon City Council voted unanimously Thursday to adopt a series of reforms proposed by a state senator as an alternative to disincorporation, including doubling the city's tiny and controversial housing stock.
State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) had been an original co-author of the bill, AB 46, to disincorporate the city, but this week withdrew his backing and instead proposed wide-ranging reforms.
His announcement came on the same day that Los Angeles County supervisors expressed deep concerns about taking over Vernon if the bill passed, noting the city's large debt and downward financial trend. In its current form, AB 46 calls for the county to take over some parts of Vernon's government.
Among the changes adopted Thursday was the creation of about 50 "independent housing units." For decades, the city has owned nearly all of the homes and apartments within its borders and many of the tenants have held close ties to City Hall. Critics say the arrangement turned Vernon into a tightly controlled fortress with pliant residents and council members who get highly subsidized housing.