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Council opposes Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative, urges residents to submit protest letters

The city of Claremont is joining the Los Angeles Business Federation and educators across the Los Angeles County in fighting a countywide tax initiative that could cost the city up to $102,702.58 a year.

The Claremont City Council came together Tuesday in a unanimous vote to oppose the Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure proposed by the Los Angeles Flood Control District (LAFCD). The measure proposes charging property owners countywide with a new annual tax to help pay for water quality projects.

The Clean Water fee is expected to cost the average single-family homeowner in Claremont $54 a year, and Claremont property owners $1,539,658 annually. Only 40 percent of the funds collected will even be returned to the city for use in its water treatment, added Brian Desatnik, Claremont’s director of community development. 

“The measure provides an inadequate amount of funding to deal with the full compliance issue for the city,” Mr. Desatnik said. “We believe that if there is going to be an approach to local funding we should have more control over the entire funding source generated locally and that it should deal with the entirety of the issue and not just a small portion.

“It’s just not a solution to the problem,” he continued.

In order to pass the Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative, the state constitution requires both a public hearing and an election. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the governing body of the LAFCD will hold a public hearing on the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure this Tuesday, January 15, in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.

If 51 percent of property owners write to protest the parcel tax then it will be rejected without a vote. Without the needed majority opposing the tax, which Councilmember Sam Pedroza called “impossible,” an election will take place. Those who would like to add their voice of protest to the matter may do so by writing a letter addressed to the executive officer of the board of supervisors at PO Box 866006, Los Angeles, CA 90068. All letters must be received by Tuesday’s hearing or will not be included.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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