An unprecedented attempt to forcibly dissolve a city has ended in defeat, as the Senate moved on Monday to block Assembly Speaker John Perez’s AB 46. That bill would have erased the small, industrial, scandal-ridden city of Vernon from the map, instead folding it into Los Angeles County as a special district.

Instead of elimination, Vernon has approved vast reforms in the operations of its city hall, the pay of its city council, and the breadth of its citizenry.

Vernon fought for its life, and called every available resource to bear. It hired a former Attorney General to review city policies and recommend a series of reforms. It hired lobby firms, joined with business leaders and organized labor to press the case for Vernon’s existence in the halls of the Capitol and in the district offices of elected officials. And while Vernon will continue to exist, only time will tell how different it will be under its newly adopted reforms.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The state Senate today blocked a push by Assembly Speaker John A Pérez to eliminate the city of Vernon.

Assembly Bill 46 sought to disincorporate any California city with fewer than 150 residents — criteria met only by the tiny industrial city represented by Pérez. It fell eight votes short of passage today on the Senate floor, on a 13-17 vote.

Pérez has made axing the city one of his top priorities this year, saying it is the best way address allegations of corruption in a city that is home to fewer than 100 residents but more than 1,000 businesses. Under his proposal, Vernon would become an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County.

Read the full article here.