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L.A. considers annexing Vernon if the small city is disincorporated

February 8, 2011 |  6:00 pm

More than two dozen people, including Vernon business owners, showed up at the L.A. City Council’s planning and land use management meeting Tuesday to protest legislation to break up the the small industrial city.

They also panned L.A.'s idea of possibly annexing Vernon if the disincorporation legislation is successful.

Some described Vernon as “under attack,” while another businessman said, “It’s a great little city. There’s nothing wrong with the city of Vernon.”

Addressing L.A.City Councilman Jose Huizar, who was the only councilman on the committee present, Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth said disincorporation would cause businesses to leave and would burden the larger city with debt.

“The city of L.A. would be absorbing over $1 billion in debt?” Whitworth asked. “Are you ready for that?” The Vernon city administrator added that if L.A. officials “wish to consult with us … our door’s always open.”

But Huizar said that Vernon City Hall wasn’t so open to listening a few years ago when the city was proposing building a large power plant that ended up provoking fierce opposition in neighboring cities and communities, including the Boyle Heights neighborhood Huizar represents.

He voted to have the entire L.A. City Council discuss the issue of possibly annexing Vernon and backing the disincorporation bill.

Critics of Vernon are pressing the bill, saying the small city is mired in public corruption and has been run like a fiefdom by a small group of leaders for generations. In the last few years, two former city administrators have been charged with public corruption.

RELATED:

Vernon hires prominent attorneys for ethics review

-- Hector Becerra

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