The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday night put off a decision on the underwriting team for an upcoming sale of $350 million Proposition C sales tax revenue bonds.

The matter was carried over to the authority's next meeting on Sept. 15.

Authority staffers had recommended the following team: Paine-Webber Inc. as senior manager. and Artemis Capital Group Inc. and Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. as co-senior managers.

The recommended co-managers were: M.R. Beal & Co.; E.J. De La Rosa & Co.; First Boston Corp.; Merrill Lynch & Co.; I.C. Rideau Lyons & Co., and Smith Mitchell Investment Group Inc.

The underwriters were selected from a pool of underwriters that was established in August 1992.

Authority directors did not give a reason for putting off approval of the staff recommendations, though some of them believed that the decision could be delayed until the next meeting. Finance staffers said, however, that a decision needs to be made in September to avoid disrupting financial planning.

Leslie V. Porter, interim treasurer of the authority, said in an interview that requests for proposals went out to the pool on Aug. 9. They were due back by Aug. 20, and an authority team then interviewed about 10 firms on Tuesday.

Porter said the schedule was more compressed than usual, but he noted that staffers had been instructed last month to prepare for the financing, pending board adoption of the fiscal 1994 budget. The budget was adopted yesterday during a lengthy six-hour board meeting.

Porter said underwriters in the pool knew about the situation, and that none of them should have been surprised by the fast-track selection schedule.

Porter said he assumed that the recommended underwriting team would remain the same for the September meeting, unless authority directors had any specific concerns that led them to put off the matter.

Porter noted that authority directors also are accustomed to having the Finance and Budget Committee review and recommend the team. In this instance -- because of the time factor -- the committee referred the matter to the full board for consideration. As a result, he said, some authority directors also may have wanted more time to consider the financing.

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