Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE LOCAL CONTESTS

Los Angeles County voters will elect two supervisors and a district attorney on Nov. 3, as well as deciding on more than two dozen local measures, ranging from reform of county government to a police tax to authorizing card clubs on the Queen Mary and at Hollywood Park Race Track.

In the 2nd Supervisorial District, former Rep. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and state Sen. Diane Watson are battling to become the first black person elected to the Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Kenneth Hahn, a supervisor since the waning days of the Truman Administration, is retiring from the district centered in South Los Angeles.

In the 4th Supervisorial District, Rolling Hills Mayor Gordana Swanson faces three-term incumbent Deane Dana. Her election would establish a women's majority on the county board.

The office of district attorney is still on the ballot, but the race effectively ended when incumbent Ira Reiner pulled out of the campaign, essentially handing the job to his former chief deputy, Gilbert L. Garcetti.

Countywide, three measures are on the ballot: creating an elected county executive, enlarging the Board of Supervisors and levying an assessment to fund park projects.

Los Angeles voters will decide on four measures, including proposed tax increases to pay for 100 additional police officers and upgrading the city's emergency communications system.

Voters in a dozen other cities and school districts also will decide on local issues, ranging from proposed term limits for municipal officials in Long Beach, Santa Monica and Torrance to a proposal in West Hollywood for that city to establish its own police force.

SUPERVISORS

District: 2.

Area: Centered in South Los Angeles.

Population: 1.8 million.

Background: Supervisor Kenneth Hahn is retiring. His successor will be the first elected black supervisor.

Term: Four years.

Salary: $99,297 a year.

Duties: The Board of Supervisors, with a $13-billion budget, is responsible for a wide range of services, including operation of courts, jails, public hospitals, the Sheriff's Department and welfare programs.

Name: Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.

Born: Oct. 5, 1932

Residence: Ladera Heights.

Current position: Attorney with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA; graduate of USC Law School.

Career highlights: First black woman elected to the California Assembly, in 1966. First black woman elected to Congress from California, in 1972. Lost state attorney general's race in 1978. Appointed to the Board of Supervisors in 1979 but lost election to Deane Dana in 1980. Currently serves on UC Board of Regents.

Family: Married to William Burke for 20 years, with two daughters.

Key Issues: Burke lists jobs and reform of county government as top priorities.

She has called for requiring competitive bidding on all county contracts for more than $50,000 and giving preference to Los Angeles County-based companies seeking county business--actions that she said would increase business opportunities for minority-owned firms.

"I am not a divisive, fighting-for-the-spotlight person," she says. She said her conciliatory style is more likely to produce results for the ethnically diverse district.

She also supports creation of a "community mediation council" staffed by volunteer attorneys to resolve conflicts among merchants, landlords and neighbors.

Burke supports ethics reform, a citizens board to review allegations of misconduct against the Sheriff's Department and term limits for supervisors.

Name: Diane E. Watson.

Born: Nov. 12, 1933.

Residence: Crenshaw district.

Current position: Democratic state senator. Education: Bachelor's degree in education from UCLA, master's in school psychology from Cal State Los Angeles and doctorate in educational administration from Claremont Graduate School

Career highlights: Teacher, principal and school psychologist. Elected to Los Angeles Board of Education in 1975. First black woman elected to the state Senate, in 1978.

Family: Single.

Key Issues: She has said her top priorities are jobs, education and greater accountability for county spending.

Watson has advocated establishment of a county program to hire the unemployed, patterned after the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s.

She pledges to push for awarding county contracts to firms owned by minorities and women and to companies employing South-Central Los Angeles residents. She also supports creation of a citizens commission to review allegations of misconduct by sheriff's deputies.

She says that shielding health and welfare programs from budget cuts are her top priority. She also pledges to oppose layoffs of county workers.

Watson pledges to expand the supervisors' oversight of public education, noting that the county Office of Education "oversees all of the budgets of all schools in Los Angeles County."

Criticizing her opponent for moving into the district to run for the seat, Watson said: "I never tired of the people in South Los Angeles."

District: 4.

Area: Along the coast from Marina del Rey to Long Beach, then inland along the county boundary to Diamond Bar.

Population: 1.8 million.

Background: Incumbent Deane Dana collected 42% of the vote in the June primary, but 50%-plus was required to win. He faces Gordana Swanson, who finished second among five challengers with 25%.

Term: Four years.

Salary: $99,297 a year.

Duties: The Board of Supervisors, with a $13-billion budget, is responsible for a wide range of services, including operation of courts, jails, public hospitals, the Sheriff's Department and welfare programs.

Name: Gordana Swanson.

Born: Jan. 31, 1935.

Residence: Rolling Hills.

Current position: Rolling Hills mayor and RTD board member. Education: Attended De Paul University.

Career highlights: Elected to Rolling Hills City Council in 1976. Appointed to the Southern California Rapid Transit District board in 1981. Served as RTD president in 1988-90.

Family: Married to Leonard Swanson for 32 years, with two children and two grandchildren.

Key Issues: Swanson says that reform of the county budget process is her top priority. She pledges that, if elected, she will seek an "easy-to-read, line-item" budget and will work to have supervisors regain the spending powers they have ceded to bureaucrats.

She supports limiting supervisors to two terms. "Even if term limits aren't imposed by law, I pledge to serve only two terms," she says.

The centerpiece of her campaign has been criticism of the incumbent's failure to prevent spending on office perks and such things as bulletproof cars for supervisors.

"I'll make sure that legitimate human needs, not the perks and comfort of supervisors, will always be county government's first and only priority," she says.

Name: Deane Dana.

Born: July 9, 1926.

Residence: Palos Verdes Estates.

Current position: County supervisor. Education: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Career highlights: A former telephone company district manager, he defeated appointed Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke to win election to the Board of Supervisors in 1980.

Family: Married to Doris Dana for 41 years, with three children and four grandchildren.

Key Issues: Dana has set as top priorities cutting "bureaucratic red tape, forging public/private partnerships to create new jobs, fighting crime and saving taxpayer money by keeping the cost of county government down."

Among his accomplishments, he lists forcing the resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Richard B. Dixon, who came under attack for spending millions of dollars on executive bonuses, pension increases and other perks. Dana earlier had been a Dixon booster, but withdrew his support after the primary, saying that his decision was the result of a grand jury audit that found Dixon spent lavishly on an $8-million office remodeling project.

Dana also says that he has saved county taxpayers millions of dollars by pushing for contracting out services to the private sector. Critics have disputed the savings and contend that privatization has resulted in a lower quality of service to the public.

Dana criticizes his opponent for advocating term limits while serving as a council member since "Gerald Ford was President."

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition A: Park assessment

WHAT IT IS: The measure would levy a $12.52-a-year assessment on the average single-family home to fund $540 million in improvements to beaches, parks, the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Zoo and other recreational areas. Proposition A requires approval by a majority of voters.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents say it will reduce gang activity by improving neighborhood parks and recreational facilities.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Opponents call it an end-run around Proposition 13's requirements for two-thirds voter approval of tax increases.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: Los Angeles Police Chief Willie L. Williams, county Sheriff Sherman Block, the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club-Angeles Chapter, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, County Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., Los Angeles Taxpayers Assn., United Organization of Taxpayers, San Gabriel Valley Taxpayers Assn. and Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County.

Proposition B: Elected county executive

WHAT IT IS: The measure would provide for election of a county executive in 1994. The executive--a county mayor by another name--would prepare the county budget, hire and fire top bureaucrats and hold veto power over board actions.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents of the measure say it will establish checks and balances on the powers of the Board of Supervisors. They say the measure protects taxpayers by restricting the budget for the executive.

ARGUMENT AGAINST: Opponents say it will add another layer of bureaucracy at additional cost to taxpayers.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: The League of Women Voters, Common Cause, L.A. County Bar Assn., Supervisors Ed Edelman, Kenneth Hahn and Gloria Molina, the Rev. Cecil Murray of First AME Church and state Sen. Edward M. Davis.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Deane Dana, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., Los Angeles Community College Trustee Julia L. Wu and San Gabriel City Council member Mary Cammarano.

Proposition C: Enlarging the Board of Supervisors from five to nine members

WHAT IT IS: The measure would provide for the election of four more supervisors in 1994 and establish new, smaller districts for the nine supervisors. The measure cannot take effect unless voters also approve Proposition B, creation of an elected county executive.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents of the measure say it will provide better representation by reducing the size of supervisorial districts. The measure specifies that the budget of the executive and enlarged board cannot exceed the present budget of the board and the county's appointed chief administrative officer.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Opponents of the measure say it will increase taxpayer costs. They also object that the proposed nine-district map fragments communities.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: The League of Women Voters, Common Cause, L.A. County Bar Assn., Supervisors Ed Edelman, Kenneth Hahn and Gloria Molina.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Deane Dana, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., Los Angeles Taxpayers Assn. and Ralph Arriola, executive director of the Latin American Civic Assn.

Los Angeles City Charter Amendment K: Airport Fund Transfers

WHAT IT IS: The measure would require the transfer of surplus airport revenues to the city's general fund. Changes in federal regulations are required, even if the measure passes.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents of the measure say it could yield as much as $50 million a year for strapped city services, such as fire and police protection.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Opponents say it would lead to increased costs at the airport for airline tickets, parking and food. They say it could jeopardize airport improvements.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, Fire Chief Donald O. Manning, Aurora Castillo of Mothers of East Los Angeles and Juanita Tate, executive director of Concerned Citizens of South-Central Los Angeles.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Air Transport Assn.

Los Angeles City Proposition L: Sewer bonds

WHAT IT IS: The bond measure would raise $1.5 billion for upgrading the city's sewer system. It would gradually increase monthly sewer service bills from the current $18.30 to $33.86 by the measure's last year, 2001. City officials say that failure to approve the measure would result in monthly bills of $39.49 by 1994-95 in order to meet legally mandated production schedules. If the bond measure passes, bills would be lower because costs would be spread over a longer period of time.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents of the measure say it will eliminate sewage spills into Santa Monica Bay.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Opponents of the measure say that the city can make the improvements on a pay-as-you-go basis without incurring additional bonded indebtedness.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: Heal the Bay; Sierra Club; Councilmen Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas; Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn., and Sheldon I. Ausman, board chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Councilman Ernani Bernardi

Los Angeles City Proposition M: Emergency communications tax

WHAT IT IS: The measure would raise property taxes by an average of $26 a year to overhaul the city's emergency communications network, including the 911 system. Two-thirds voter approval is required.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents say the current system is outmoded. "In 1991, the 911 emergency dispatch center answered 5.3 million calls," says the argument in support. "But over 1 million calls were not answered because of overload."

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: No argument against the measure was submitted to city officials.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: Police Chief Willie L. Williams, Fire Chief Donald O. Manning and attorney Warren Christopher.

WHO OPPOSES IT: No argument against the measure was submitted.

Los Angeles City Proposition N: Police tax

WHAT IT IS: The measure would raise property taxes by $73 a year on a 1,500-square-foot house to fund 1,000 additional police officers. The new officers would be assigned to uniformed, detective, narcotics and anti-gang squads to implement Christopher Commission recommendations for community-based policing. Two-thirds voter approval is required.

ARGUMENTS FOR: Proponents say Los Angeles has one of the lowest officer-to-citizen ratios of any major city.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Opponents of the measure say the cost of more officers should be incurred by everyone who benefits from police services, not just property owners.

WHO SUPPORTS IT: Police Chief Willie L. Williams, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Councilmen Michael Woo and Mike Hernandez, and Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., council members Hal Bernson, Ernani Bernardi and Joan Milke Flores, and Gerald Silver, president of Homeowners of Encino.

THE D.A.'s RACE

It's still on the ballot, but the Los Angeles County district attorney's race effectively ended when incumbent Ira Reiner pulled out of the campaign, handing the job to career prosector Gilbert L. Garcetti.

Reiner, who faced long odds in his bid for a third term, announced last month that he could not stomach the negative campaign needed to keep the job.

During the four-candidate June primary, only 26% of voters cast ballots for Reiner--meaning 74% of the electorate voted for his challengers. Garcetti finished with 34% of the vote.

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