L.A. County Cities Fail to Name Member for Air Quality Panel

Times Staff Writers

The cities of Los Angeles County failed Thursday night to appoint a representative to the reorganized South Coast Air Quality Management District board after a deadlock between four candidates.

After only one ballot, officials from 57 of the county’s 84 cities who attended the election voted to delay any further attempt to name a board member until Jan. 7--just one day before the new AQMD board is seated.

The winning candidate needed the votes of 56 cities representing two-thirds of the county’s 7.34 million population.

But, in a separate meeting, Orange County cities Thursday night voted 22 to 2 to reappoint Yorba Linda Mayor Pro Tem Henry Wedaa as their representative to the AQMD. Wedaa’s reappointment was expected.


The decision by Los Angeles County cities made it likely that they will not be represented on the new, 11-member board for its first meeting Jan. 8.

Four Candidates

The four candidates for the seat were: Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude, Rolling Hills City Councilman Thomas F. Heinsheimer, Duarte City Councilman John Hitt and Baldwin Park Mayor Leo King.

Braude and Heinsheimer--both of whom have served on the AQMD since its inception 10 years ago--said afterward that they would step up efforts to win support before the next meeting.


Braude called the decision to halt the process after one ballot “inappropriate.” Heinsheimer charged that some cities that had been “pressured” by Braude refused to attend.

Candidacy Withdrawn

After the first and only ballot, Hitt withdrew his candidacy.

Braude, with a boost from the City of Los Angeles, received votes accounting for 57.25% of the population, but only 17 of the 56 cities needed.


Heinsheimer won support from 24 cities, but they accounted for only 21% of the population.

King was backed by 13 cities with 8.89% of the population, and Hitt had the votes of three cities with 1.17% of the population.