The City of Vernon is fighting for its life. And while its struggle doesn’t put many residents at risk (as it is one of the smallest cities in California) it threatens the powerful economy of the business-oriented community.

Assembly Speaker John Perez introduced a bill that would dissolve cities with fewer than 150 residents. That proposal has created the strangest of bedfellows.

At the City Council meeting, both organized labor and business leaders voiced their opposition to the plan. Vernon is home to 1,800 businesses and nearly 50,000 workers. Because of the business-friendly tax structure, they find the small city a comfortable place to operate. Should their autonomy be stripped away, businesses are worried about closing, and labor is worried about the jobs of its members.

But despite concerns about job losses in tough economic times, the Los Angeles City Council voted to support Speaker Perez’s bill, but did ask him to amend the bill to protect Vernon’s businesses.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to support a bill in the Legislature that would disincorporate the city of Vernon and make it a part of Los Angeles County.

The vote followed a tense two-hour public discussion of the bill, which has been staunchly opposed by Vernon city officials and business and labor leaders in the city. A contingent of 200 to 300 business owners and union members protested the vote outside City Hall and packed the council chamber.

At the hearing, opponents of the bill argued that it would hurt businesses and cause job losses. They emphasized the low electricity rates that Vernon provides as well as its lower taxes.

Read the full article here.