Friday, January 18, 2002
Hahn Speaks Out Against Proposed Valley Secession, Says Neighborhood Councils Will Make Difference
By NICK YULICO, Staff Writer
Mayor James Hahn spoke out against the San Fernando Valley’s proposed secession yesterday and cited closing the gap between neighborhoods and City Hall as a primary remedy to keeping the city unified.
Hahn addressed the “terrible idea of breaking up this great city of Los Angeles,” saying it is far better for the city to have the “great collection of neighborhoods” spanning across the Valley than to have them separated from the city.
“The San Fernando Valley does not understand that Los Angeles needs the Valley,” Hahn said. “We would be worse off if we didn’t have the Valley.”
Hahn stressed the important roles that neighborhood councils will play in keeping citizens’ interests in line with city government. As well, upcoming city council meetings in Hollywood and the Valley, along with city hall commission meetings in outer areas will bring government to the people, without folks heading downtown each day, Hahn said.
Hahn proposed a “Nordstrom-style, friendly customer service” for citizens using city hall as a way to keep everybody in the city.
One recent improvement, Hahn said, was the new money-back guarantee on permits at City Hall—if a person waits more than 30 minutes for a permit, then the permit if free.
Hahn delivered his speech at the Central City Business Association meeting at the Biltmore Hotel, where he called upon leaders in the business community to give their input on what has so far been a “one-sided secession debate” with only secessionists’ voices being heard, Hahn said.
“[Business leaders] join me in standing up and bringing about what I still believe is the greatest city on earth,” said Hahn.
Hahn also said his new $100 million trust fund to build affordable housing is a preview of what his budget will look like come April 20 of this year—with the focus on public safety and housing concerns.
He stressed that he would oppose new fees on development and would not raise taxes to alleviate the current fiscal crunch. Securing more money from state and federal housing funds would also be a priority, Hahn said, since “for years [we] haven’t gotten our fair share in housing funds.”
Hahn added that he is looking into appointing a deputy mayor for housing in the city.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company