CONTENT OF PROPOSITION "O" FROM THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

[NOTE: The following language was taken directly from the printed version of the voter ballot pamphlet]

INTRODUCTION

The next page contains a simplified version of the City ballot measure. The full text of the measure, along with other information, is printed after the Ballot Summary

BALLOT SUMMARY

TITLE:
Bond Proposition O; Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach, Bay Storm Water Cleanup Measure General Obligation Bonds.

THE ISSUE:
Should the City issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.

THE SITUATION:
The Environmental Protection Agency, in enforcing the Federal Clean Water Act, requires the City to clean up pollution in its rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean to provide for cleaner and safer water. Currently, the City does not have the money to pay for these required cleanups. Approval of these bonds will provide funds for projects to remove trash, bacteria and storm-water pollution from the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean; and reduce flooding and increase water conservation. Construction of these projects will improve the health and welfare of the public and environment.

THE PROPOSAL:
This measure will authorize $500 million in bonds for the purchase and/or improvement of property for projects that:

Protect rivers, lakes, beaches and the ocean;

Conserve and protect drinking water and other water sources;

Reduce flooding and use neighborhood parks to decrease polluted runoff;

Capture, clean up and reuse storm water.

There will be oversight by a citizens committee and an administrative committee. The bonds will be paid for by property taxes. The average estimated tax increase on a $350,000 home will be $35.00 per year for 24 years. The measure will be adopted if 2/3 of the voters approve it.

A YES VOTE MEANS:

You want the City to issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.

A NO VOTE MEANS:

You do not want the City to issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.


CLEAN WATER, OCEAN, RIVER, BEACH, BAY STORM WATER CLEANUP MEASURE – GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS. CITY OF LOS ANGELES PROPOSITION O.

To protect public health by cleaning up polluted storm water; keeping pollution, trash, toxic chemicals, dangerous bacteria from rivers, beaches; preserving clean drinking water by protecting groundwater quality; reducing flooding; increasing water conservation; protecting bays, rivers, lakes from storm water contamination; shall the City of Los Angeles incur bonded indebtedness totaling $500,000,000 for storm water projects, with independent financial audits, citizen oversight?

ESTIMATE by WILLIAM T. FUJIOKA, CITY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER of TAX RATE REQUIRED to FUND STORM WATER GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND MEASURE

The bonds will be issued in phases, as projects are ready. It is anticipated that the bonds will be issued in series of $100 million per year for five years. During the first fiscal year after the first series of bonds has been issued, the estimated tax rate will be 0.383% per every $100 of assessed valuation. In Fiscal Year 2010, the first fiscal year after the issuance of the last series of bonds and the year in which the tax rate will be the highest, the estimated tax rate will be 1.726% per every $100 of assessed valuation. Over the life of the bonds, the average annual tax rate is 1.00% per every $100 of assessed valuation. A home with an assessed value of $350,000 will have an average annual tax of $35 for 24 years.

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IMPARTIAL SUMMARY by RONALD F. DEATON, CHIEF LEGISLATIVE ANALYST

The bond proposal, if approved, will authorize the City to issue general obligation bonds to build improvements designed to address the regulatory requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act and improve water quality and protect public health and the environment. The improvements will clean up polluted storm water and reduce dangerous bacteria in the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches, bay and ocean.

The measure will also institute improvements that protect ground water quality, provide flood control, and increase water conservation, habitat protection and open space. Total amount of the bonds is $500,000,000.

Federal mandates initiated in 1999 established that over 60 water quality regulations would be adopted over the subsequent 13 years. The regulations adopted require the City to implement a water quality work plan to:

Remove Trash from the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. This will be done by using bond funds to pay for construction and installation of catch basin inserts/screens to capture and prevent trash from entering the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. Removal of trash from these waterways prevents trash from reaching urban lakes, beaches, bay and ultimately, the ocean.

Reduce Bacteria and Water Toxics in Santa Monica Bay, Marina Del Rey, Harbor and Cabrillo Beach. Pending regulations will also require the City to reduce bacteria and water toxics from the Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek and urban lakes. One way the City will meet these regulations is by using bond funds to install storm water/runoff diversion structures that redirect flows from the streets to the sewer system for cleansing and treatment based on available sewer capacity.

The City will also address harmful bacteria and water toxic regulations by the capture, clean up and beneficial re-use of storm water. These bond funded projects will include the following:

Construction of, and purchase of land for, basins and structures throughout the City to capture, retain and treat polluted storm water and to beneficially re-use the water for irrigation at open space and parks.

Development of greenbelt areas to help treat and conserve storm water which, along with filtering elements, will reduce water toxics that enter the groundwater, Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek and ocean.

Development, and purchase, of land to create water-cleansing landscapes and parkways along and surrounding the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek to reduce storm water pollution and bacteria that wash into these waterways, through natural filtration and treatment. These parkways provide multiple benefits such as controlling storm water runoff and flooding through increasing percolation areas and by creating open space for habitat preservation and recreation.

In addition, the City will identify and fund other projects that further the purposes and goals of this measure and present the most effective use of available funds.

Costs for this program were compiled by the City’s Bureau of Sanitation based on studies, estimates and recently completed City and regional construction projects, and comparable projects in other jurisdictions.

The City will by ordinance institute a comprehensive set of controls and a strong management structure, including an Administrative Oversight Committee and a Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee, to ensure that all projects are delivered on time, and on budget.

Failure to approve this measure will postpone the City’s ability to comply with Federal and State water quality regulations, exposing the City and taxpayers to potential fines and litigation, particularly from the Federal and State governments, and continuing the dangers of pollution and loss of valuable water. The measure will become effective only if 2/3 of the voters approve it.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT
By WILLIAM T. FUJIOKA, CITY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

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The measure authorizes the City to issue up to $500 million in general obligation bonds to fund projects that clean up polluted storm water and bacteria in the City’s rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean. General Obligation bonds permit the City to borrow funds at the lowest possible interest rate. The debt service will be paid from additional property tax revenues based upon the assessed value of all taxable property within the City.

The issuance of the bonds will result in average annual debt service payments of approximately $33.5 million for 24 years. This results in the owner of a home with an assessed value of $350,000 having an average annual tax of $35 for 24 years. The issuance of these bonds will not cause the City’s debt service payments to exceed 15% of General Fund revenues, as established in the City’s Debt Management Policy, Debt service payments will increase from 8.9% to 10.04% of General Fund revenues in the year in which debt service is the highest for this authorization.

In addition to the cost of paying the debt service on the bonds, the City will incur additional costs as a result of the operation and maintenance of the projects built with the bond funds. Once all $500 million in bond money has been spent to construct the projects, and depending an the projects constructed, the estimated cost to operate and maintain the projects would be $15 million to $25 million each year, compared to the current annual budget total of $470 million for all of the Public Works Bureaus involved in the City’s Storm Water Program.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION O

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Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach and Bay Storm Water Clean-Up

YES on Proposition O will keep our water clean, protect our children and our families and keep dangerous bacteria and toxic pollution from contaminating our rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.

We Can’t Wait
In Los Angeles, storm water runoff carries tons of trash and dangerous bacteria through our neighborhoods into our rivers takes, bay and ocean. This runoff contaminates everything downstream, threatening public health contaminating fish and harming wildlife. In fact, more than 10,000 tons of trash-from cigarette butts to syringes-washes up on beaches each year, resulting in beach closures to protect public health.

YES on O Protects Public Health
Unless we pass Prop O, dangerous pollutants and bacteria will continue flowing into our rivers and onto our beaches. That places us at risk for infectious and serious diseases.

YES on O Protects Clean Drinking Water
Prop O protects sources of drinking water from contamination by protecting groundwater quality, and increases water conservation.

YES on O Keeps Pollution Out of the Ocean and Off Our Beaches
Prop O will keep bacteria, toxic chemicals, and pollution out of the ocean and off LA beaches, reducing beach closures and protecting swimmers.

YES on O Benefits Everyone
This measure will benefit every neighborhood in Los Angeles by upgrading storm drain systems, eliminating flooding at key intersections, creating new community parks, and improving water quality.

Proposition O Has Strict Accountability, Financial Audits and Citizen’s Oversight
All spending will be subject to independent financial audits, LA Controller’s audit and reviewed by a Citizen’s Oversight Committee.

Please join Mayor James Hahn, the entire City Council and a diverse coalition of business, conservation and public health organizations in supporting Proposition O: the best way to ensure clean water for Los Angeles.

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and are not checked for accuracy by any City agency.

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PERSONS SIGNING ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF CITY OF LOS ANGELES PROPOSITION 0

JAN PERRY
Chair, Environmental Quality and Waste Management Committee

GEORGE KIEFFER
Chairman Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

NOREEN E. McCLENDON
Executive Director for Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles

ED P. REYES
Chair Los Angeles River Committee and Councilman
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU
President, Ocean Futures Society
STEVEN POWELL
Lifeguard Paramedic, Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association
DOROTHY A. GREEN
Founding President Heal the Bay
MARC J. LaRIVIERE, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Specialist
RICHARD KATZ
Member, State Water Resources Control Board
ERIC GARCETTI
Councilmember, Budget and Finance Committee

NO ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS MEASURE WAS SUBMITTED

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