Even as activists circulate a petition to put a city-run health department on the ballot, the City Council rejected the idea on an 11-1 vote. Creating the department, the Council was advised, would have been duplicative of County services and cost an estimated $50 million to start-up.

But activists say the department, which existed until disbanded in the 1960s, is necessary because the County’s health department is too bloated and moves too slowly to accommodate needs of the sick and indigent. Leading the charge to establish the City department is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They have collected 70,000 signatures on their petition already.

AHF has long advocated for a smaller, city-run department and its relationship with the County department has been deteriorating in recent years. Recently, an audit showed that AHF overbilled the County for $1.7 million.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Daily News.