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Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure Put On Hold

Board Of Supervisors Opposes Mail-in Ballot Election On Proposed Parcel Fee

by Joshua H. Silavent, Staff Writer

March 12, 2013 – A proposed parcel fee on all property owners in the Los Angeles County flood control district meant to offset storm water pollution by funding clean water programs has effectively been tabled after the county board of supervisors voted today not to proceed with a mail-in ballot on the matter this year.

Instead, the board approved a motion with the stated goal of bringing the proposal – known as the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure – to voters in a general election in either June or November 2014.

The proposed fee – about $54 annually for the average homeowner and higher for commercial and governmental properties – would fund a variety of environmental restoration, public health and educational programs designed to mitigate pollution resulting from storm water runoff.

Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe, who represents Long Beach, spearheaded the charge to scrap plans for a mail-in ballot referendum, citing the lack of specific projects and the absence of a sunset provision on the fee (which some call a tax) as reason to direct staff to report back quarterly on ways to refine and improve the proposal.

“While I have long supported efforts to ensure clean water and beaches,” Knabe said in a statement, “I have been against this measure from the beginning as it was not fair and transparent in content or process. We must start over . . . "

Pick up a copy of the March 26 issue of the Business Journal for more information.