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ACTIVISTS PURSUING EAGLE ROCK SECESSION.

Byline: Melissa Schmitt Daily News Staff Writer

An Eagle Rock group that wants to secede from the city of Los Angeles filed papers Friday to launch a petition drive necessary for a study of cityhood.

``We want lower taxes, higher property values and to fix up the business district,'' said Pam Probst, founder of the Independent Eagle Rock Committee.

``All that can't be done with the City Council.''

Eagle Rock's move comes just a month before Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment expects to finish its petition drive to trigger a public study of the economic feasibility of a San Fernando Valley city separate from Los Angeles.

Other Los Angeles communities, beginning with San Pedro, are likely to follow suit, which will be helpful to the Valley movement, said Richard Close, chairman of Valley VOTE.

``This is going to help a lot,'' Close said. ``These areas realize the only way they can become a separate city is to do it now as part of the San Fernando Valley effort.

``In a separate ballot measure, it is highly unlikely they could get a majority to approve. If they join with us, it makes it easier for them. It makes it easier for us,'' Close said.

Eagle Rock, which was an independent city until it joined Los Angeles in 1923, will have 180 days to collect approximately 3,500 valid signatures.

Valley VOTE must submit 131,000 valid signatures by Nov. 27. It already has collected 172,000 signatures, leaders said.

In its editorial pages, the Daily News has strongly endorsed Valley VOTE's drive for a public study of secession that would determine whether a breakup would be revenue-neutral to the remaining part of the city and whether the new city would be economically viable. The newspaper has also contributed $60,000 to the petition-gathering effort.

Close said such movements as Eagle Rock's will also ease the process of gaining political support from elected officials representing the areas of discontent.

Mayor Richard Riordan has said he opposes any breakup of the city of Los Angeles. A spokesman for Riordan declined comment on Eagle Rock's filing, saying he won't comment until they have seen the paperwork for themselves.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 24, 1998
Words:364
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