LOS ANGELES COUNTY MEASURES ON TUESDAY’S BALLOT
PROPOSITION Proposition J Jail Bonds WHAT IT WOULD DO Raise $96 million in bonds for the Los Angeles County jail system, including new or improved facilities for nearly 4,700 adults and juveniles. These funds would be matched by state jail construction bonds already approved by voters. ARGUMENTS FOR Serious problems among inmates arise over jail overcrowding, which if not alleviated with new funding will force officials to dip into other important county programs. Supporters: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Sherman Block. ARGUMENTS AGAINST Jails are overcrowded because there are too many prisoners being locked up for minor offenses--such as prostitution, growing marijuana and failure to pay traffic tickets--that should be decriminalized. Opponents: Libertarian Party of California. LOS ANGELES CITY MEASURES PROPOSITION Proposition U Building Limits WHAT IT WOULD DO Reduce by one-half the maximum allowable size of new buildings on about 70% of the commercial and industrial property in the city of Los Angeles. ARGUMENTS FOR Building limits are needed to help control spreading commercial development, which is creating more traffic congestion and intruding on residential areas. The measure buys time to re-evaluate where high-density development properly belongs. Supporters: City Council members Zev Yaroslavsky, Marvin Braude, Michael Woo, Joel Wachs and Joy Picus; the League of Women Voters; the Sierra Club; Taxpayers Watchdog Inc.; many homeowners associations. ARGUMENTS AGAINST This meat-ax approach will neither reduce traffic nor keep bulky commercial buildings apart from residential areas. It will cost jobs and retard economic growth. A reasonable alternative is being worked out by the City Council. Opponents: Real estate interests, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Central City Assn. PROPOSITION Proposition V Jobs With Peace WHAT IT WOULD DO Create a “Jobs With Peace” advisory council to lobby for a reduction in federal military spending and direct more federal and local funds to community and social needs. It also would identify non-military investment choices for public and private pension plans. ARGUMENTS FOR At an annual cost of no more than 15 cents per household, the mayor and City Council can create a development council that will direct city lobbyists to work for a change in federal priorities. The result will be a revitalized and more diversified civilian economy and more secure local tax base. Supporters: Council members Robert Farrell and Michael Woo; Deputy Mayor Tom Houston; state Sens. Art Torres and Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles). ARGUMENTS AGAINST The initiative would add a new layer of bureaucracy that would have to be financed at the expense of other city services. Taxpayers who want to reduce military spending should petition their federal representatives. If successful, the proposal could also harm the local aerospace industry and cost thousands of jobs. Opponents: Councilman Ernani Bernardi; Hughes Aircraft, Lockheed Corp., Rockwell International and TRW. Proposition W Revenue Notes and Other Indebtedness PROPOSITION WHAT IT WOULD DO Would revise the City Charter to permit streamlining the bond-issuance procedure in financing housing developments. Proceeds from the sale of bonds or notes could go directly to a trustee rather than via the city treasury. Document signatures could be signed by facsimile. ARGUMENTS FOR The changes would minimize the possibility of lost funds or unnecessary interest charges. The present requirement that each bond carry an original signature adds to delays and costs and is not normal procedure in other city revenue-bond issues. Supporters: Dave Cunningham, former councilman who headed Grants, Housing and Community Development Committee, City Treasurer Robert M. Odell and city Department of Community Development. ARGUMENTS AGAINST No organized opposition.