The DWP Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to consider some important matters such as once again raising water rates and yet again giving union boss Brian D’Arcy’s IBEW 8,000-plus members another sweetheart deal.
But you won’t find out anything about those things by going to LADWP.com (.com not .org as if it is a corporation, not a publicly-owned utility) and clicking on current agenda but it doesn’t work.
Some things like the ripping off of the public for the benefit of the few like D’Arcy are best kept private. And that includes socking ratepayers to pay for handsome paydays for the nation’s best paid utility workers even when the inflation rate is MINUS 1.7 percent and other city workers are deferring raises and taking time off without pay.
But secrets are hard to keep when you got a city of 4 million people enraged about the way things are going, particularly when it comes to paying more for less just to make some people richer. Here’s the two items you can’t find at LADWP.com
(23) Recommended by Chief Operating Officer and Chief Finanacial Officer
(Approved by Acting General Manager)
Resolution recommending approval of Water Rates Ordinance
No.. 170435 to modify General Provision T Adjustment Factor
Limitations to increase the cap from $.50 per billing unit (one billing
union equals 748 gallons) to $1.00 per billing unit beginning April 1, 2010.
Council Approval by ordinance is required.
(24) c. Conference with Labor Negotiators.
Pursuant to California Government Code Section 54957.6, the Board
will meet in closed session with its labor negotiators (the Department’s
Interim General Manager) with the following labor negotiations with the
following union representatives:
Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
(Local 18, IBEW)
Local 18, of course, is the union D’Arcy runs with the same sense of self-service he runs the DWP and chooses most city elected officials from the mayor and city controller on down.
His clout is so great that he deserves the lion’s share of credit for finally ridding us of David Nahai as DWP general manager and bringing back his own favorite, David Freeman, as interim general manager — the man who is doing the negotiating on the latest deal to pad the paychecks of the 95 percent of the workforce that are members of his union.
The agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting also included initially measures to spike the pension of Chief Operating Officer Raman Raj — another of D’Arcy’s close allies — and to funnel more than $1 million to a Sacramento lobbying firm that, like so many in the political arena, is trying to help out former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez in his time of need.
I can’t swear those two items made it from the tentative agenda to the final one since my sources are less concerned about a million here or there than the tens of millions represented by the rate hike and payoff to D’Arcy.
This is a watershed moment, so to speak, for the city.
If IBEW workers get raises when other city workers, including cops and firefighters, are giving up money, the labor unrest that will follow will bankrupt the city.
If water rates are increased even as power rates are sure to soar, tens of thousand of people soon will be paying more to the DWP than to their landlords or mortgage holders. And that will put them in the same bankrupt position as the city.
Costly in time and money as it is, it’s my suggestion that we show up at the DWP shortly after noon on Tuesday and let them know the days of ripping off the public and letting the vital infrastructure of our water and power systems rot are over.
City Hall has used the DWP as a cash cow for too long. It has declared its intention to pack our utility with other city workers who’s jobs are dispensable in these tough economic times, transfers that will actually mean they will get pay raises since the DWP pays 20 to 40 percent more for the same jobs than other city departments.
You can sit on your duff or feign ignorance but you will have nobody to blame but yourselves for letting them get away with these grand thefts.