East LA Cityhood Study Process Gets Underway
Comprehensive fiscal analysis will now begin.
By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer
“It’s a very patriotic day for East Los Angeles,” Senator Gloria Romero told EGP on Wednesday about the Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) notification that the signatures submitted by the East Los Angeles Residents Association last month are “sufficient.”
The County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Monday verified sufficient signatures were collected to require LAFCO to conduct a comprehensive fiscal analysis to determine if East Los Angeles has enough of a tax base to sustain itself as an independent city. The County’s report to LAFCO triggered the start of the study process.
“Overwhelmingly, the people of East Los Angeles wish to move forward with a comprehensive fiscal analysis to determine if cityhood is viable for East LA,” said Romero, an active supporter of the cityhood campaign.
“I have represented East Los Angeles for 10 years,” said Romero. “I know we are viable. We can be so much more than we are,” she said.
According to the LAFCO approval notification letter obtained by EGP, of the 16,259 signatures submitted, 11,340 were found to be sufficient. Of the remaining signatures determined to be invalid, 1,094 signatures were found to be duplicates.
Signatures of 25 percent of the 34,403 registered voters living in the area proposed for incorporation were required. The verified signatures accounted for 33 percent of registered voters, according to the LAFCO letter.
Referring to the one third of ELA voter signatures verified, Romero said a LAFCO representative she spoke with said they had “never seen anything like this before.”
“It’s a tremendous outpouring by the people of East Los Angeles. We’re ready,” she said.
On Dec. 12, the East Los Angeles Residents Association (ELARA) delivered four boxes of petitions to LAFCO. The delivery marked the conclusion of a five-month signature gathering campaign to request the fiscal analysis be done.
If LAFCO’s comprehensive fiscal analysis determines that East Los Angeles has enough of a local tax base to operate as an independent city, the next step will be to place a cityhood initiative on the ballot and allow residents to decide whether they want to breakaway from the County and incorporate.
LAFCO Executive Director Sandor Wingor told EGP the study could take 5 to 8 months to complete, and would analyze information from the 2008-2009 Fiscal Year.
An official press conference is planned for Friday, said a jubilant Romero.
“At the end of the day the analysis will find if we have viability… We want to know.., It’s about hope. It’s about time, it’s past time.”
Clarification: EGP updated the headline to this story that ran without the word “process.”Print This Post
January 8, 2009 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.