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Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2001 Election
Measure Q
Repeal of Assessments for Municipal Street Lighting
City of Torrance


5,130 / 40.03% Yes votes ...... 7,685 / 59.97% No votes

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Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the ordinance to repeal all assessments on real property within the City of Torrance for municipal lighting, including the assessment for the City of Torrance Lighting District No. 99-1 starting the first fiscal year following passage of the initiative and all subsequent fiscal years be adopted?

Impartial Analysis
On June 15, 1999, the City formed an assessment district under the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, designated as "City of Torrance Lighting District No. 99-1" ("the District"). The City formed the District to pay for the ongoing maintenance and servicing of streetlights, safety lights and traffic signals in the City of Torrance. The City of Torrance levied assessments for fiscal year 1999/2000.

The proposed measure would repeal all assessments on real property within the City for municipal lighting including the assessment for City of Torrance Lighting District No. 99-1, starting the first year following passage of this initiative and all subsequent fiscal years.

  Official Information

City of Torrance
News and Analysis

Daily Breeze
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Arguments For Measure Q Arguments Against Measure Q
Surcharges imposed by the Lighting Assessment District No. 99-1 (LAD99-1) are not required to maintain street lighting. Street lighting, like police and fire protection, is an essential safety service and should be funded the same way.

Available Funding: Revenues to the City of Torrance continue to increase. According to City projections, revenues are up $4 million over last year and are projected to increase another $4 million next year. The $1.2 million collected yearly represents less than 1% of the $123 million General Fund. Is there a budget that cannot spare 1%?

Wasteful Spending: With surcharges, funds become available for pet projects. Government avoids taxpayer oversight and conflicts of interest can occur. Indeed, Southern California Edison, who maintains Torrance street lighting under contract with the City, voted for the LAD99-1 assessment.

Surcharges make waste possible. The Cultural Arts Center should be self-sustaining yet consumes $770,000 yearly. The International Visitor's Bureau and the radio station reporting Torrance traffic conditions cost thousands more. Measure Q will eliminate street lighting surcharges.

Unfair: Originally, LAD99-1 was approved by $87,424.77 in assessments. The City's vote ($94,721.90) was officially recorded as approving the tax. That vote alone determined the outcome.


Published balloting rules stipulate that only ballots provided by the City, properly marked and signed in ink, count. Blank ballots do not meet those requirements and do not count. Failure to follow the rules invalidated many other ballots but not the City's.

Since the surcharge continues to be assessed, we must conclude either the balloting was meaningless or the rules didn't matter.

Last Chance: LAD99-1 continues without a sunset provision. Measure Q is your chance to end this boondoggle. Vote YES on Measure Q and cure the problem by repealing the tax.

Let's axe the tax! Vote YES on November 6th!

Signed by:

G. Rick Marshall, Small Business

Newton Young, Homeowner

James Henry, Homeowner

Karen Miller, Homemaker

Johnny Arceri, Small Businesswoman

It's simply a bad idea to repeal the Street Lighting Assessments. This measure deserves a NO vote.


FACT: Residential property owners have been contributing to the cost of street lighting for nearly 25 years.

FACT: On the average it costs less than $18 a year for the residential property owner to have our traffic and street lights on. That's a bargain for the safety and security of our neighborhoods and streets!

FACT: The City, commercial, industrial and other non-residential property owners pay 71% of the cost to keep our traffic and street lights on. Residential property owners only pay 29%!

FACT: Without the Street Lighting Assessments, commercial and industrial property owners would avoid paying their fair share, yet not suffer from the burdens of cuts in services and programs the residents will experience.

FACT: If the Street Lighting Assessments are repealed, the City may have to cut back other services and programs to pay the $1.2 million annually to keep the lights on.

FACT: Some of the services and programs that could be impacted may include - police and fire safety; parks, recreation and library programs; youth and senior citizen services; tree trimming and street and sidewalk repair.

This is too high a price to ask Torrance residents to pay! Say NO to those who would make our neighborhoods dark and our streets unsafe. VOTE NO to repeal the Street Lighting Assessments!

Let's keep our neighborhoods and streets safe and secure while preserving essential City services and programs. Torrance is a great place to live, work, and raise families. Let's keep it that way!

We urge your NO vote to repeal the Street Lighting Assessments!

Signed by

Mayor Dee Hardison

Councilmember Marcia Cribbs

Councilmember Jack Messerlian

Councilmember Paul Nowatka

Councilmember Frank Scotto

Councilmember Dan Walker

Councilmember Hope Witkowsky

Full Text of Measure Q

1. All assessments on real property within the City of Torrance for municipal lighting, including the City of Torrance Lighting District No. 99-1, are repealed starting the first fiscal year following the passage of this initiative and all subsequent fiscal years.

2. Nothing herein shall prevent the City of Torrance from submitting a proposal to the voters of Torrance for a special tax to be paid by all Torrance residents for municipal lighting provided the tax is approved by a two-thirds affirmative vote.

3. This measure may not be amended except by another initiative approved by the voters of the City of Torrance.

4. The City Clerk of the City of Torrance shall serve a certified copy of this initiative on the County Auditor-Controller of Los Angeles County.

5. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Initiative is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions for the Initiative.

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Created: December 3, 2001 02:34
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