Voters decided against splitting Los Angeles ““ the
nation’s second largest city ““ into three separate
cities Tuesday, defeating dual secession movements soundly at the
polls.

Measures F and H, which would have broken the San Fernando
Valley and Hollywood from Los Angeles, failed by decisive margins
both in Los Angeles and within the boundaries of the proposed
cities. With 76 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday
morning, Valley secession was losing citywide 70 percent to 30
percent.

Within the boundaries of the San Fernando Valley, the race was
closer, with 51 percent voting against secession and 49 percent
voting in favor of it.

Even within the boundaries of the proposed Hollywood city, with
76 percent of the precincts reporting, more than 70 percent of
voters were saying no to secession.

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn called the secession movements a
“˜”˜wake-up call for city officials” and
urged secession supporters to work with him in the future.

“˜”˜Join us in making the city better. We know
we’re not perfect. We have work to do,” Hahn
said. “˜”˜Join us. Let’s make the city
better.”

Secession supporters argued a new Valley city would provide
better schools, safer streets and lower taxes.

They also felt that the downtown Los Angeles city government
took money from the Valley without providing a fair amount of
services.

Opponents, led by Hahn, based their campaign on the pitfalls of
secession, warning that splitting the city apart could lead to
fewer services, less safety and higher taxes.

While secession had more support in the Valley, it was not up to
Valley voters alone to determine the area’s fate.

Each secession measure needed a majority of votes in the new
city’s boundaries and a majority citywide, but failed on both
counts. If secession had been approved, the new city in the San
Fernando Valley would have been the sixth-largest in the
nation.

While early polls indicated that Valley secession had a good
chance of passing, support has decreased in the last few months as
the election drew near.

Hollywood secession had never gathered as much support: few if
any polls gave it a chance of gaining a majority even within
Hollywood.

During that time, more studies by UCLA professors and other
academics have predicted harmful effects if secession passed.

A study by UCLA urban planning professor Eugene Grigsby stated
the Valley’s growing poor and elderly populations would have
suffered from a lack of city services had secession passed.

Secession opponents claimed financial losses were inevitable,
and everyone would lose if the city split apart.

Despite Tuesday’s vote, secession supporters may continue
to push for more services to be provided in the Valley and for more
local control.

They may also seek other ways to put the secession question on
the ballot in the future. Meanwhile, even with a victory Tuesday,
Hahn had said he would seek a state law prohibiting future cityhood
efforts.

“˜”˜It shouldn’t have to come up every year and
eat up taxpayer dollars,” said Hahn, the leader of the
anti-secession fight. “˜”˜I’m not going to spend my
whole term in office fighting every six months secession
efforts.”

With reports from Daily Bruin wire services.