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East LA Cityhood Could Be Decided (and Rejected) This Wed.

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The LA Local Agency Formation Commission, which has to approve all city incorporations, is set to vote on East LA cityhood on Wednesday, and a report released last week suggests the commission turn the proposal down. The LA Times reported over the weekend on the (Langston Hughes allusion alert!) "dream" of an East LA city, which is in danger of being "deferred" again following the release of a study with the longwinded title "The Los Angeles Local Agency Formation Commission Executive Officer's Report for the Proposed Incorporation of East Los Angeles" (incorporation efforts failed in 1960, 1963, and 1971). The report, produced by LAFCO Executive Officer Paul Novak, found that proponents of cityhood underestimated the cost of law enforcement to the tune of $10 million. The Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis cited in the new report, along with an audit by the state controller last year, agree that the hypothetical East LA "would have a deficit of $19 million in the first year following incorporation, and between $12 million and nearly $19 million in each of the next 9 years," according to EGP News.

The report suggests three possible courses of action for the LAFCO at the upcoming meeting: "disapprove the requested incorporation (the staff recommendation); approve the incorporation, and direct staff to prepare findings and determinations necessary to approve it; or continue the matter."

The leading supporters for East LA cityhood, the East Los Angeles Residents Association, questions the findings of both reports, and have requested that the item be continued for another four months "to allow more time to examine other potential fiscal remedies." ELARA believes that the representation offered by LA County (East LA currently sits in the jurisdiction of Supervisor Gloria Molina) is inadequate and that residents should be able to vote for cityhood at the ballot box. ELARA President Benjamin Cardenas tells the LAT that the group will continue to push their agenda at Wednesday's hearing: "This will probably be the last opportunity people have to develop our own government structure, our own representation and to determine our priorities...If the people vote against it, fine. But let the people decide at the ballot box."
· East L.A. can't afford cityhood, study finds [LA Times]
· East LA Cityhood: Is the Journey Ending? [EGP News]
· Proposed East LA City Looking for Money for Hypothetical Bank Account [Curbed LA]