SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Is Los Angeles County too big?
CBS2’s Andrea Fujii reports at least one longtime lawmaker thinks it is – and now he wants to rally support to start a brand new county in Southern California.
The proposal from former Santa Clarita mayor Carl Boyer will not be on the official agenda at the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, but he does plan to hand out fliers asking the public to support the effort.
Boyer, who helped form the city of Santa Clarita and served twice as its mayor in the 90s, said he simply wants to bring political power back to local residents.
“We’ve done absolutely nothing to make the government closer to the people in that period of time,” said Boyer.
With a population of just under 200,000, Santa Clarita is currently lumped into the largest county in the nation with a population of nearly 10 million people, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.
By comparison, Orange County has just 3 million residents, while both Riverside and San Bernardino counties each have populations of roughly 2 million people. Ventura County has an estimated 800,000 residents.
Boyer said the numbers tell the whole story.
“I guess it’s a visceral feeling that we’re larger than most countries,” he said.
He estimates any proposed split from L.A. County would save taxpayers as much as $245 million annually, but at least one official with the Board of Supervisors rejected the plan, saying splitting a county is done at the state level.
Residents in Santa Clarita were also cool to the idea of forming a new county.
“I don’t think much about it all,” said one man. “It should stay the way it is.”
“I think it should stay like it is,” another woman said.
While Boyer concedes that he does not have any specific proposals for where new county lines should be drawn, he said he simply wants to get residents talking.
“I just keep thinking somebody’s gotta start talking about it,” he said.
The Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown.