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Breaking down Measure V

October 22, 2010|By Mike Reicher, mike.reicher@latimes.com

In the order of appearance in Measure V, here is an explanation of each section:

Taxes: The city charter currently allows the city to tax property owners to meet its bond payments and its retirement benefits for city employees, to pay for libraries and for some limited other purposes.

Prop. 13, the 1978 state initiative that limits property taxes, appears to nullify this portion of the city charter (enacted in 1966), but City Atty. David Hunt says that there are exceptions in Prop. 13 that would allow the City Council to levy most of these additional property taxes.

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Voting yes would eliminate or modify the charter sections that allow for these taxes.

Oil drilling: The current city charter allows oil drilling in certain portions of West Newport, including on 466 acres of Banning Ranch. Hundreds of active or abandoned wells dot the Banning property, which is slated for a large residential development, pending environmental and other approvals.

A portion of the Banning property would be left as open space under development plans. The Banning Ranch Conservancy would like the entire property to be open space. This charter amendment would spell out which areas would be permitted for oil drilling moving, including some city-owned wells.

Voting yes would restrict oil drilling to 20 acres near West Coast Highway in the Banning Ranch property, and would require a public vote to expand the region. It gives the property owners 10 years to move the wells. Also, it would prohibit offshore drilling, but the state already has offshore drilling restrictions.

Legal notices: The charter requires that the city publish the text of each ordinance in a local newspaper. City officials have said this practice costs too much money, and that they can satisfy state law by publishing just the title and summary, with the full ordinance available online, at the library and at City Hall.

Voting yes would eliminate the requirement that the city publish its full ordinances in the newspaper, and would allow it to just publish a title and summary, according to state laws.

Franchise procedures: When companies want to provide services to multiple users in a city, such as business waste haulers or cable television providers, they have to get approval from the City Council and undergo a series of steps set forth in the charter. The process can take up to three months. City officials say this is too long and inhibits some companies from doing business in the city, thus stifling competition.

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