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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure O
Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach, Bay Storm Water Cleanup Measure
City of Los Angeles

General Obligation Bond Measure - 2/3 Majority Approval Required

764,536 / 76.30% Yes votes ...... 237,505 / 23.70% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 26 2:53pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (1,658/1,658)
Information shown below: Summary | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To protect public health by cleaning up polluted storm water; keeping pollution, trash, toxic chemicals, dangerous bacteria from rivers, beaches; preserving clean drinking water by protecting groundwater quality; reducing flooding; increasing water conservation; protecting bays, rivers, lakes from storm water contamination; shall the City of Los Angeles incur bonded indebtedness totaling $500,000,000 for storm water projects, with independent financial audits, citizen oversight?

Summary Prepared by City Clerk:

Bond Proposition O. Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach, Bay Storm Water Cleanup Measure General Obligation Bonds.


Should the City issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City's rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean?


The Environmental Protection Agency, in enforcing the Federal Clean Water Act, requires the City to clean up pollution in its rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean to provide for cleaner and safer water. Currently, the City does not have the money to pay for these required cleanups. Approval of these bonds will provide funds for projects to remove trash, bacteria and storm-water pollution from the City's rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean; and reduce flooding and increase water conservation. Construction of these projects will improve the health and welfare of the public and environment.


This measure will authorize $500 million in bonds for the purchase and/or improvement of property for projects that:

  • Protect rivers, lakes, beaches and the ocean;

  • Conserve and protect drinking water and other water sources;

  • Reduce flooding and use neighborhood parks to decrease polluted runoff;

  • Capture, clean up and reuse storm water.

There will be oversight by a citizens committee and an administrative committee.

The bonds will be paid for by property taxes. The average estimated tax increase on a $350,000 home will be $35.00 per year for 24 years.

The measure will be adopted if 2/3 of the voters approve it.


You want the City to issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City's rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.


You do not want the City to issue $500 million in bonds for projects that clean up polluted storm water, and bacteria in the City's rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.

Impartial Analysis from Chief Legislative Analyst
The bond proposal, if approved, will authorize the City to issue general obligation bonds to build improvements designed to address the regulatory requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act and improve water quality and protect public health and the environment. The improvements will clean up polluted storm water and reduce dangerous bacteria in the City's rivers, lakes, beaches, bay and ocean. The measure will also institute improvements that protect ground water quality, provide flood control, and increase water conservation, habitat protection and open space. Total amount of the bonds is $500,000,000.

Federal mandates initiated in 1999 established that over 60 water quality regulations would be adopted over the subsequent 13 years. The regulations adopted require the City to implement a water quality work plan to:

  • Remove Trash from the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. This will be done by using bond funds to pay for construction and installation of catch basin inserts/screens to capture and prevent trash from entering the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. Removal of trash from these waterways prevents trash from reaching urban lakes, beaches, bay and ultimately, the ocean.

  • Reduce Bacteria and Water Toxics in Santa Monica Bay, Marina Del Rey, Harbor and Cabri//o Beach. Pending regulations will also require the City to reduce bacteria and water toxics from the Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek and urban lakes. One way the City will meet these regulations is by using bond funds to install storm water/runoff diversion structures that redirect flows from the streets to the sewer system for cleansing and treatment based on available sewer capacity.

The City will also address harmful bacteria and water toxic regulations by the capture, clean up and beneficial re-use of storm water. These bond funded projects will include the following:

  • Construction of, and purchase of land for, basins and structures throughout the City to capture, retain and treat polluted storm water and to beneficially re-use the water for irrigation at open space and parks.

  • Development of greenbelt areas to help treat and conserve storm water which, along with filtering elements, will reduce water toxics that enter the groundwater, Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek and ocean.

  • Development, and purchase, of land to create water-cleansing landscapes and parkways along and surrounding the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek to reduce storm water pollution and bacteria that wash into these waterways, through natural filtration and treatment. These parkways provide multiple benefits such as controlling storm water runoff and flooding through increasing percolation areas and by creating open space for habitat preservation and recreation.

In addition, the City will identify and fund other projects that further the purposes and goals of this measure and present the most effective use of available funds.

Costs for this program were compiled by the City's Bureau of Sanitation based on studies, estimates and recently completed City and regional construction projects, and comparable projects in other jurisdictions.

The City will by ordinance institute a comprehensive set of controls and a strong management structure, including an Administrative Oversight Committee and a Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee, to ensure that all projects are delivered on time, and on budget.

Failure to approve this measure will postpone the City's ability to comply with Federal and State water quality regulations, exposing the City and taxpayers to potential fines and litigation, particularly from the Federal and State governments, and continuing the dangers of pollution and loss of valuable water.

The measure will become effective only if 2/3 of the voters approve it.

Contact FOR Measure O:
YES on Proposition O

  Official Information

City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program
News and Analysis

Daily Breeze

L.A. Weekly
Google News Search
Suggest a link related to Measure O
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Arguments For Measure O
YES on Proposition 0 will keep our water clean, protect our children and our families, and keep dangerous bacteria and toxic pollution from contaminating our rivers, lakes, beaches and ocean.

We Can't Walt

In Los Angeles, storm water runoff carries tons of trash and dangerous bacteria through our neighborhoods into our rivers, lakes, bay and ocean. This runoff contaminates everything downstream, threatening public health, contaminating fish and harming wildlife. In fact, more than 10,000 tons of trash-from cigarette butts to syringes-washes up on beaches each year, resulting in beach closures to protect public health.

YES on 0 Protects Public Health

Unless we pass Prop 0, dangerous pollutants and bacteria will continue flowing into our rivers and onto our beaches. That places us at risk for infectious and serious diseases.

YES on 0 Protects Clean Drinking Water

Prop 0 protects sources of drinking water from contamination by protecting groundwater quality I and increases water conservation.

YES on 0 Keeps Pollution out of the Ocean and off our Beaches Prop 0 will keep bacteria, toxic chemicals, and pollution out of the ocean and off LA beaches, reducing beach closures and protecting swimmers.

YES on 0 Benefits Everyone

This measure will benefit every neighborhood in Los Angeles by upgrading storm drain systems, eliminating flooding at key intersections, creating new community parks, and improving water quality.

Proposition 0 Has Strict Accountability, Financial Audits and Citizen's Oversight

All spending will be subject to independent financial audits, LA Controller's audit and reviewed by a Citizen's Oversight Committee.

Vote Yes on Proposition 0

Please join Mayor James Hahn. the entire City Council and a diverse coalition of business. conservation and public health organizations in supporting Proposition 0: the best way to ensure clean water for Los Angeles.

Chair, Environmental Quality and Waste Management Committee

Chairman, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

NOREEN McClendon
Executive Director for Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles

Chair, Los Angeles River Committee

President, Ocean Futures Society

Lifeguard Paramedic, Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association

Founding President, Heal the Bay

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Member, State Water Resources Control Board

Councilmember, Budget and Finance Committee

(No arguments against Measure O were submitted)

Full Text of Measure O
All projects shall provide water quality benefits and have as their primary purpose the reduction of pollutant loads to the impaired waters of Los Angeles to meet water quality standards. Wherever feasible projects shall be designed (1) to provide multiple benefits and purposes including water supply, flood management, open space, habitat, and recreation benefits, (2) with consideration of source control measures and leveraging of funds and collaboration with other agencies, and (3) shall utilize a strategic adaptive management approach that incorporates assessment, feedback, adaptation, and flexibility. In order to protect public health, improve water quality, conserve water and reduce flooding, the types of projects include storm water cleanup, control and diversion; water quality, pollution and bacteria control; trash capture; urban lakes and bay improvements; habitat/wetlands restoration and development; storm water retention facilities/parks/greenbelts; and water conservation/reuse facilities. The projects will be funded from one or more of the following categories throughout the City:

River, Lakes, Beaches, Bays and Ocean
Water Quality Protection Projects
Water Conservation, Drinking Water and
Source Protection Projects
$ 75,000,000
Flood Water Reduction, River and Neighborhood
Parks That Prevent Polluted Runoff and
Improve Water Quality Projects
Storm Water Capture, Clean-Up and Re-Use Projects$ 75,000,000

Additional Provisions:

(1) A Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee with four (4) members appointed by the Mayor and five (5) by the President of the City Council will be established to monitor the Program, the projects, budgets and schedules and at least semi-annually to advise and report to the Mayor and City Council on the status of the Program, projects, budgets and schedules. At least two (2) appointments by the Mayor and three (3) by the President of the City Council shall be based upon the appointee's expertise and experience in clean water issues and one of the President's expert appointees shall be recommended by the Regional Water Quality Board. The other four (4) members shall be knowledgeable community representatives. An Administrative Oversight Committee, including a representative to be designated by the Board of Public Works, will be established by the City Council to oversee and direct the Program and the projects in order to comply with approved schedules and budgets.

(2) The City Council shall adopt criteria for the selection of individual projects for the above categories within 180 days of passage of the bond measure. The development and review of these criteria will be done in consultation with the Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee by the Administrative Oversight Committee. The City Council shall use the Integrated Resources Plan, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan and the Watershed/Water Management Plan as guidelines, to the extent possible, for the selection of projects. Both Committees will review project proposals to determine if they meet the adopted criteria and recommend to the City Council projects that meet the criteria by a time specified by City Council.

(3) Salaries for administrators not directly involved in the Program shall be ineligible.

(4) All bond funds shall be deposited into a special fund and can only be used for the purposes of the Program.

(5) The City Administrative Officer shall file an annual report with the City Council no later than January 1, 2005, and at least once a year thereafter that reports on the amount of funds collected and expended and on the status of the Projects. Projects will be audited periodically by the City Controller.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:30 PST
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