County, City Asked to Pay for Secession Study

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich called on the county and city of Los Angeles Wednesday to pay the estimated $1-million cost of a study on the feasibility of the San Fernando Valley's secession from Los Angeles.

Valley activists are on the verge of collecting the 135,000 petition signatures necessary to prompt the Valley cityhood study by the Local Agency Formation Commission, the state authority that controls municipal expansion in Los Angeles County.

Antonovich said it would be unfair to require the petitioners to pay the $1-million expense, a possibility suggested by one commission member in June, and has filed a motion for the county to set aside $500,000 for the secession study. The motion also calls on the city to match the county's appropriation.

"This fee should be shared by the county and the city of Los Angeles to remove an unfair burden on those seeking local control," said Antonovich, whose district includes Glendale, Burbank and portions of the northwest Valley.

Richard Close, chairman of Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment, said the county has an obligation to help pay for the secession study, because under state law the county must fund 80% of the commission's budget and expenses. The city is required to pay the remaining 20%, said Close, who is one of the commission's alternate members.

Antonovich's motion is scheduled to come before the commission Tuesday.

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