“You’re starting to see the average person start to push back,” he said. “There’s a lot of skepticism.” – Jack Kyser, chief economist for the L.A. Economic Development Corp. in the Daily News today.
L.A.’s best reporter Beth Barrett revealed today exactly why our electricity rates are soaring: To pay for overdevelopment of the city that’s destroying our neighborhoods, to feather the nest of powerful DWP union boss Brian D’Arcy, to add bureaucrats to the bloated DWP management and to make their work space more comfortable.
And, of yeah, to spend what’s left over on fixing the power grid that was allowed to rot because all the money was going to overpaid staff to buy their loyalty to support a political system that serves itself and a variety of special interests.
Even the head of the DWP Board of Commissioners is squeamish about General Manager David Nahai’s plan to hire 1,000 more employees — something the public is only now learning about with the rate hikes set to take effect July 1. And we only learn about it because of enterprisinig reporting, not because the plan was put out in public for debate.
“I think (the DWP) is gearing up too fast,” said
Patsaouras. “We need
the dollars for infrastructure, but that doesn’t give us a blank check
in every part of the department to spend.”
Nahai claims there was extensive review by city officials, neighborhood
councils, oversight committees and others of his “overall budget.” That’s like his recently disclosed claim that “all” the water DWP provides meets all safety standards. All of it does on average but a lot of the water we’re drinking doesn’t meet those standards. So yes, the overall budget was reviewed but we only now learn the specfics buried in the fine print and not publicly debated.
Contrary to Nahai’s claim, I’ve heard over and over in recent weeks from those involved that the DWP is not living up to the spirit of its Memo of Understanding to fully disclose what it’s doing and work closely with neighborhood councils.
Jack Humphreville, a member of the neighborhood
councils’ DWP oversight committee, told the Daily News that the utility had promised that
the money from the rate hikes would be spent on infrastructure — not
support and office staffers at the downtown headquarters.
“I understand the need for the infrastructure,” he said. “But to the extent it’s going into other areas, it’s not kosher.”
So what does our money go for? Among 505 new jobs, 181 would be in power, 177
in water and 147 in joint administrative services that include
everything from customer service and security to real estate and
information technology, and.489 employees would be hired to fill existing.
For Nahai, all this is critical to the future of the city — including
replacing the 59 DWP janitors working on contracts with DWP employees
who would become members of D’Arcy’s union, the IBEW and enjoy the same
lucrattive pensions and other benefits..
That after all is the real point: What’s good for the union is good for L.A.
D’Arcy, who did not deign to talk to the Daily News, has long been
demanding the DWP expand its employee base rather than contracting out
at lower costs and in Nahai he has found his obedient tool.
“Who is the driver of the Los Angeles city bus?” Kyser said. “It’s the unions.”: