The heart of the Proposition B swindle is not in its solar energy proposal, which is nothing but a referendum on whether you want power from renewable and clean sources or continue to pollute the air and destroy the planet burning fossil fuels.
If City Hall had the common decency and respect for the spirit of the law as ordinary citizens do, the City Council would merely have ordered the Department of Water and Power and its union, IBEW Local 18, to stop resisting solar energy for Los Angeles.
Or they could have put the solar part of Prop. B on the ballot and asked voters what they think. The vote would be nearly as unanimous as the votes are in council on almost every issue.
The real problem with Prop. B isn’t solar energy. It isn’t even that it gives the DWP/IBEW a monopoly on the ownership, installation and maintenance of rooftop solar units on commercial, industrial and government buildings. That merely drives up electricity rates, slows solar development and sends most of the billions of dollars to be invested in this to China to buy the photo-voltaic cells.
No, the real problem is the City Charter Amendment that is part two of Prop. B. It is a radical change that destroys the pretense of civilian oversight by the DWP Commission and Neighborhood Councils and even allows — for the first time in L.A history — for the City Council to overturn a vote of the people.
Leonard Shaffer, president of the L.A. Neighborhood Council Coalition and a retired Deputy District Attorney, used his legal skills to decipher just how sinister this is despite the unintelligible language used in the council ordinance.
Yes on B campaign manager Mike Trujillo, under questioning from Shaffer, called the council’s power to completely change Prop. B at any time “tweaking it.” Talk about a “false and misleading” statement.
In truth, Prop. B is the complete corruption of the governmental process. It destroys the democratic process, even the fiction of democratic process we have in L.A.
A City Council that could enact this measure in just three weeks without any information, without any real debate, and do so unanimously is a city council that does not represent the people or the public interest.
It is owned by the special interests who keep them in the highest paid elected city jobs in America.
Passage of Prop. B — which is being funded with millions of dollars in money from those same special interests — will bring Chicago-style corruption to Los Angeles, if it isn’t already here.
They have wrapped solar energy — something we all want to see, something we would have except for the DWP/IBEW’s long-standing opposition — around a power grab that will lead inevitably to endless controversy and scandal.
This is about clean energy and clean government.
Don’t take my word for it. Go back and listen to Len Shaffer question Mike Trujillo and make up your own mind.
Read the council file for yourself by clicking here solar-ord-11-18-08.pdf
Here’s the key paragraphs but it takes a lawyer to understand them:
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of the Charter to the contrary and as
further provided by ordinance, the Program may provide for, but is not limited to,
the following: the promulgation of regulations by the board to implement the
Program; financing mechanisms including the issuance of revenue bonds; bid
preferences pursuant to Charter Section 371; the department’s ownership and
operation of all department-installed solar power installations and related
equipment and electrical power generated pursuant to the Program pursuant to
Charter Section 672; eligibility requirements for Program participants; expansion,
suspension, postponement, modification or termination of Program
implementation based on specified criteria and approval by ordinance, including
by supermajority vote of Council, of any such action; and Controller audits of the Program.
(e) Notwithstanding Charter Section 464 or any other provision of the
Charter to the contrary, the referendary ordinance establishing the Program may
be amended and/or repealed only as provided in that ordinance.