ORANGE COUNTY IN BANKRUPTCY : BOND TICKER : Stanton Makes His Case for Measure M Funds

Supervisor Roger R. Stanton has asked the Orange County Transportation Authority to examine ways of using revenue generated from the Measure M--the 1990 voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation projects--to help dig the county out of its financial crisis.

In a letter sent Friday, Stanton asked the OCTA Board of Directors to examine the process for reallocating Measure M funds to the county, possibly for distribution to cities and school districts that invested in the collapsed county pool.

"In the light of the county's financial problems, the logic of expending millions of dollars to study rail systems is highly questionable," Stanton wrote in the letter. "Rail studies . . . would be worthless if we do not have funding for schools and key local services such as law enforcement."

But County Counsel Terry C. Andrus has cautioned that it would be "difficult if not impossible" for the county to dip into funds set aside strictly for transportation services.

In his letter, Stanton also suggested that the OCTA consider placing before the voters a measure that would reduce the amount of the Measure M tax.

Stanton said the move would offset the impact on taxpayers of a proposed half-cent sales tax increase that may go to voters on June 27.

Public Can Give Input on Outcome

The League of Women Voters and Orange County Common Cause will sponsor a forum on Sunday titled "Facing Orange County's Financial Crisis: Options, Obstacles and Opinions."

Connie Haddad, president of the league's Orange County chapter, and Wayne D. Wedin, a member of the Orange County Business Council, are among the speakers scheduled to appear at the forum. The public is invited to question the speakers and propose their own ideas for digging out of the bankruptcy.

The forum takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 3050 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa.

A Look at Political Power in O.C.

The Committees of Correspondence, an anti-tax organization that has emerged as a strong political voice on bankruptcy issues, will have its monthly meeting April 5 in Orange.

UC Irvine political science professor Mark P. Petracca will give a speech entitled "The Distribution of Political Power in Orange County".

The meeting runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Orange Council Chambers, 300 E. Chapman Ave.

Information: (714) 528-2742 or (714) 633-6725.

Compiled by Shelby Grad

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