With calls for more public outreach, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday decided against placing a $3 billion bond issue to repair city streets on the May ballot.
Instead, Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino said they will give further study to the plan and try to build support from neighborhood councils, business groups and others for the proposal, which is expected to cost $34 for every $100,000 of a property's value.
"Providing for safe, well-maintained streets is one of the most basic core functions of city government and is crucial to our economy and our daily lives," said Englander.
He and Buscaino unveiled the proposal only two weeks ago, sparking an outcry from several neighborhood councils that more outreach is needed before the measure should be placed on the ballot.
Englander said he has received positive responses about the need for the measure - designed to repair some 8,700 miles of deteriorating streets - but also questions over the process used to place it on the ballot.
"We want all stakeholders to have the opportunity to weigh in and that has always been one of the goals of the street repair proposal," Englander said.
The council sent the proposal to the City Attorney's Office to draft the language. Buscaino, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said he will hold hearings around the city before bringing it back for consideration.
"If we want to remain a world-class city and attract new businesses and jobs, it is vital that we demonstrate Los Angeles is city of the future and not a crumbling relic of the past," Buscaino said.
Englander said the goal of the bond was to undertake a 10-year plan to repair all the streets in the city and then develop a program to maintain them.
The money would be in addition to the $105 million now spent every year on street repair.
Council President Herb Wesson praised the two for exploring the proposal.
"It's important that we keep this conversation alive," Wesson said.