East L.A. Cityhood in Limbo

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Backers of a four-year campaign to gain cityhood status for unincorporated East Los Angeles were left in limbo Wednesday, when the Los Angeles Local Agency Formation Commission (LA LAFCO) voted in favor of closing public participation and tabling the matter for two weeks.

Incorporation of the 7.4 miles area bounded by the cities of Los Angeles, Commerce, Montebello and Monterey Park, and home to approximately 126,000 residents, most of them Latino, would make East Los Angeles the 10th largest city in LA County.

LA LAFCO’s executive officer recommended that the commission reject the incorporation request on the grounds that financial studies concluded East Los Angeles does not have “sufficient revenues to provide public services and facilities and a reasonable reserve during the first three years of incorporation,” as required by state law.

“East Los Angeles does not generate enough revenue to sustain a healthy and financially sound city,” wrote Paul Novak in his Executive Officer’s Report.

Three previous incorporation attempts —1961, 1963 and 1974 — failed. If the commission rejects the proposal for incorporation, proponents can submit another proposal after one year.

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