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Legislature will try to dissolve Vernon; city leaders call move illegal

Vernon, highlighted in dark blue, is by far the least populated for the 26 communities in the Southeast region of L.A. County, shown here in lighter blue. Click for more details on demographics, schools and crime in Mapping L.A. The effort to disband the city of Vernon will take a major step forward this week when state Assembly Speaker John Pérez introduces a bill that would effectively require the industrial town to become an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.

The bill, to be introduced Monday, stems from a series of corruption scandals in the city in recent years, including the indictment of Vernon's former city administrator in October. Critics have said the town of about 95 residents has been controlled for decades by a small cadre of families and their associates.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and other local officials have talked about the need for radical change in Vernon, but this is the first time the Legislature will consider aggressive action against the city.

"The issue here is about the complete lack of transparency and accountability in Vernon," Pérez said. "We cannot tolerate a situation where a handful of individuals are able to use an entire city as their own personal fiefdom."

Pérez's bill would mandate that any city with fewer than 150 residents disincorporate. Vernon is the only city in California with fewer than 150 residents, according to the state Department of Finance. If the bill is approved, Vernon's city government would be dissolved and its assets would be transferred to the county.

Records from the League of California Cities show that two California cities have been disincorporated by statute in the last century, and their residents did not actively oppose dissolution.

Read the full story here.


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Map: Vernon, highlighted in dark blue, is by far the least populated for the 26 communities in the southeast region (light blue) of L.A. County. Click for more details on demographics, schools and crime in Mapping L.A.

Comments () | Archives (6)

It looks like Perez wants to take over (and steal) Vernon away to further pad his power with his other cronies. I hope Vernon blocks it, despite the corruption. Replace the council first, not incorporate the city. Perez actions is an overreaction and possible power grab.

LA county wants to take over Vernon so it can mismanage their funds as well. i hope Vernon fights back

Vernon is run by one or two families. It isn't a city, it is a fiefdom.

For years I have been facinated & amazed at how The "Fifedom" of Vernon has been run by such a few. It's no secret that Vernon citizens are hand picked and receive extremely low rent & utilities in exchange for their votes going the way "The Family" wants. What has held my interest is the fact that Vernon has huge coffers, yet only a very few benefit from those coffers, in a great variance of degrees..from some receiving huge salaries and benefit's, to other's just low rent & utilities. There are only 93 or so "citizens" of Vernon and all of them receive low rent in the only housing available in Vernon...(Vernon owns all the housing, thefefore controls all the votes)
I would love to see the City Of Vernon dissolved folks, but I am not holding my breath....this Fifedom has a firm grip on their voters and none of them are willing to say they are told how to vote (they are all citizens solely because of their votes.. they all know it and know how the city expects them to vote, and none so far have let them down) Ousting the city council would do nothing but change the names of those hold those seats since there would be no problem in replacing them with more of the same. Because I am so amazed at the ease, the cost, and the simplicity of running this Fifedom I will continue keeping my eyes & ears open for any and all news concerning the Fifedom of Vernon..all the while hoping against hope that it is disbanded!

I forgot to mention that IF Vernon became part of unincorparated Los Angeles there is no guarantee that the government would be run without mismanagment of funds. Seems all municipal funds get mis-managed and abused in some way.

disincoorporating the city may only provide the city of LA with more $, enable it to destroy vernon's utility system, not provide essential services (i.e. public safety) in a timely manner and everything else LA does so poorly. What needs to be done is for Vernon City council to get there heads out of the sand & get an Admninistrator who can get things done (sorry Whitworth), get rid of Fresch & all his associates (sorry Rory), and run the city as it should be. The transparency will return & business will be run efficiently as it was once before. Fiefdom? Long timje Families running the city? I believe Mr. Fresch has only been there since 1999 or 1998. Disincorporation is not a good idea. Assemblyman Perez - just try to resolve your deficit


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