If you’ve been paying attention, you know by now that Measure B on the March 3 city ballot has nothing to do with solar energy. It’s a blank check for City Hall corruption that will send rates soaring, create more jobs in China than L.A. and lead to less solar energy than promised.
It’s nothing but a back room deal, a smokescreen trick to use something everyone wants to cover up a power grab by the mayor and City Council.
This is about a City Charter reforrn -- something they never talk about-- that allows them for the first time ever to overrule a vote of the people by a simple majority vote of the council.
They can change any element of the proposal at any time, channel billions of dollars to their friends and eliminate meaningful public oversight.
There is another way — the path required by the City Charter, the path that creates civic engagement and public support, the path of democracy.
We need to go back to the drawing board and do legitimate feasibility studies, financial analysis and planning and come up with a proposal that actually creates the most solar energy possible at the lowest cost. That might take a few months but it would have some integrity in it unlike the plan DWP is pulling together with a consultant in 30 days for $150,000 to help sell this scheme to passive and gullible voters who don’t have access to the truth.
Then we need to send the proposal out to the Neighborhood Councils — as required by law and a memorandum of understanding — and other community groups for input. Sixty days later, the DWP Board of Commissioners could hold hearings and provide funds for experts who can challenge the assumptions and claims.
Out of that process, we would get a refined and realistic proposal that the City Council could consider and further refine and adopt.
We wouldn’t need a vote of the people. It’s not legally necessary now. But we would have a plan that the public understood and supported. Rates would be under control and people would want to participate and the private sector would be in a position to take advantage and grow jobs by the thousands — not a few hundred.
Instead what we have before is a plan concocted by the DWP’s all-powerful IBEW union boss Brian D’Arcy — the man who single-handedly has thwarted solar energy developments in L.A. and now wants a total monopoly.
Remember, the city set a goal a decade ago of 100 megawatts of solar power in L.A. in 2010. Well, it’s 2009 and we have 12 megawatts — only a third of that coming under the leadership of wannabe California governor Antonio Villaraigosa.
D’Arcy is a bully boy who bludgeoned our weak-kneed city officials into railroading his phony plan through in just three weeks without study or meaningful public discussion.
Watch Councilman Bill Rosendahl admitting publicly last weekend he voted to put Measure B on the ballot without knowing the first thing about it, having no clue about whether he’s for or against. His colleagues didn’t know either — in no small part because Council President kept a devastatingly critical report secret from them for seven weeks.
City Hall could just pull the measure from the ballot and start all over again. I know that isn’t going to happen because there is no honor among thieves.
So it’s up to all of us to mobilize, organize and come up with the money to defeat their $3.5 million campaign funded by the IBEW and other special interests.
We can do it, yes we can. I’ve covered government in seven states and two foreign countries and I’ve never seen a worse piece of legislation than this. They made a serious mistake in suing the Solar 8 over the ballot argument and losing and now people across the city are coming to understand this is nothing but a license to steal.
Truth is on our side. The community is energizing and coming together as never before. We need your participation and your financial support.
Visit our website and join the movement to change L.A. Here’s how you can help: Send checks to “DWP Committee for Advocacy,” c/o of
Secretary/ Treasurer Heinrich Keifer, 5669 York Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90042