BOND TICKER : ORANGE COUNTY IN BANKRUPTCY : Business Council Wants Tax on June Ballot

The Orange County Business Council on Friday urged the County Board of Supervisors to place a measure on the June ballot that would ask voters to impose a half-cent sales tax to help the county recover from the financial crisis.

The council said the tax should be considered only in conjunction with efforts to sell or lease some county assets, privatize services and restructure government.

The council said the idea of increasing taxes is "abhorrent" but added it must be considered because the alternative could involve defaulting on bond payments, which could stifle economic growth.

Popejoy Adds Volunteer Advisers

Orange County Chief Executive Officer William J. Popejoy announced Friday that two volunteers from the business community will join his team of advisers.

One is Daryl Carter, co-chairman and chief investment officer of Carter Primo Chesterton, an investment advisory firm specializing in commercial real estate. Carter has more than 13 years of experience in the investment field.

The other is Layna J. Browdy, a corporate communications manager for the Automobile Club of Southern California. The Auto Club is lending Browdy to the county to help with its recovery efforts.

In the 1980s, Browdy worked with Popejoy as senior vice president of corporate communications at American Savings Bank.

Popejoy said additional executive volunteers will be named to the advisory team helping him deal with the financial crisis.

Trustee Suggests School Bond Issue

Paul B. Haseman, a trustee with the Capistrano Unified School District, suggested this week that the district consider issuing bonds to pay for new schools and finance repairs at existing campuses.

The bond measure would require approval of two-thirds of voters. But Haseman said it might be worth a try, especially in light of the county's financial crisis, which has forced cutbacks in the district.

"This might be a time to move ahead bravely and take a shot at it," he said.

Compiled by Shelby Grad with Alan Eyerly and Jeff Bean.

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