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This Time L. A. Merits Imitation

Los Angeles is almost a curse word to many San Diegans, and avoiding Los Angelization is a common theme of political campaigns and discussions of growth problems.

Rarely is imitating Los Angeles seen in a positive light.

But San Diegans would do well to take close note of a blue-ribbon group in Los Angeles that has been studying the city’s problems for the past 2 1/2 years. Last week the group, the Los Angeles 2000 Committee, issued its recommendations.

Most significantly, the group recommended the establishment of two regional super-agencies to manage growth and improve environmental quality in the Los Angeles Basin.

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The committee of 150 business, community, academic and religious leaders concluded that, to deal effectively with the problems of growth and the environment, there must be “changes in the way we govern ourselves.”

San Diego County voters came to the same conclusion a couple of weeks ago when they overwhelmingly approved Proposition C, an advisory measure that calls for a regional board with the authority to set policies to deal with traffic management, solid-waste disposal, water reclamation, sewage disposal, air quality and industrial zoning.

The measure calls for a blue-ribbon committee to study how the board should be established. This should be done promptly while the growth debate--and the failure of slow-growth measures--is still fresh.

In addition, the committee should be broad-based to overcome the hurdles that such a major change in governmental structure will surely pose. This could be one time when following the lead of Los Angeles could help San Diego avoid the Los Angelization it so dreads.

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