In the name of conservation, the City Council meeting is set today to approve yet another water rate increase to feed the DWP and pay the soaring salaries of its IBEW workers.
So much for all the talk about openness and transparency and including the public in the process of governing, specifically the city’s own official Neighborhood Councils that have a legal contract with the DWP to be involved in all major decisions.
DWP Committee President Soledad Garcia has prepared this form letter to City Council members with an urgent plea to send it to them this morning. (dwp-waterletter.rtf).
Here’s Soledad’s excellent explanation the situation
was a packed day for meetings at City Hall and at DWP. Our
presentations to E and E Committee and DWP Commission on Tiering were
good. We learned that there is no need to rush another increase. Just
as with Measure B, there was no meaningful outreach. There was
allowance for Neighborhood Councils and Community to provide input.
The Community does not even know what the tiering will do and how the
additional imposition of a fourth increase in July will impact us all.
tiering is on the DWP books, there really was not a need to rush to
bring it to E/E and Council except to get the rate changes on the July
schedule. There was no emergency declared. Governor Schwarznegger had
declared water shortage, but that was not enough to point to the State
Constitution and the DWP statutes as the basis for the time sensitive
increase. In essence, DWP is acting on its own timelines.
Hall does not depend on water to feed it monies. DWP could wait for a
couple more months before imposing the new tiering. There will be
additional power rate increases in July: Power base rate increase,
second quarterly pass through increases, possible summer restructuring
and if allowed, Tiering.
The E/E Committee followed the
procedure to allow input. However, it was a Special Meeting that
should not have taken any action without a Council File number and
without noting possible action. At the time of signing in, there were
no Report from the Office of the CAO. Legally, one was later placed on
the counter. There were a few put out before the meeting closed and a
Council File number was then attached.
Please consider emailing
all the Councilmembers before 10 AM urging them to withhold their vote
so that they not bypass the Brown Act. Use your personal reasons and
refer to the sheet I had previously sent you for additional thoughts to
support your position.
Shades of Measure B in ignoring the correct process.
Soledad S. Garcia