There never was a doubt about what the mayor and the City Council were going to do to bail themselves out of the crisis they created.
The DWP was always the answer.
Where else could they turn in their desperate need for big bucks than the most wasteful and politicized agency in city government, the cash cow that keeps the public in the dark and can raise rates spectacularly without even needing approval of anyone but the Board of Commissioners, a rubber-stamp group accountable to no one except the mayor who has made it clear that obedience to his orders is mandatory or you’re out.
The true crime of Antonio Villaraigosa and his current henchman Chief of Staff Jeff Carr is that they have put every department head in City Hall and every commissioner on notice that they will be fired if they get the least bit out of line, dare to tell the truth instead of lie, actually try to fix things instead of sweeping them under the carpet.
This is Antonio’s City Hall, everyone in it is complicit. The daily City Council meetings are nothing but a charade, a pretense of debate when they will all go along with the plan to borrow billions, sell off the assets, pack the DWP and other special funds with unneeded workers and stick the public with the bills.
Inside the bubble of false consciousness of City Hall, there is no awareness everyone in LA is hurting. More than a quarter of the people are jobless or underemployed, homes are worth 60 percent of their value, foreclosures are at record levels and so are business bankruptcies.
But all they can see is themselves. The City Hall “family” is all that matters, the people are nothing.
They drool at the prospect of bleeding the public dry for water and power. Every two months that DWP bill comes to every house and every business. That’s where the money is, money for the taking to pay the ridiculously inflated salaries of the DWP, to pay for their featherbedding of the one agency that keeps on hiring even when others are losing their jobs.
While the heads of the Harbor and Airport have cautiously opened a few jobs despite the sharp declines in their revenue, the jaded David Freeman has publicly promised to create hundreds, maybe even thousands of jobs to create room for civilian city workers who will get giant pay raises to join the DWP even as he mercilessly pushes for giant rate increases.
On Friday, OurLA.org revealed the DWP consultant’s report that calls for an 800 percent increase on April 1 of the pass-through Energy Cost Adjustment Factor which is now limited to 1 percent a quarter.
It’s the first step toward more than a 20 percent increase in power rates in the next 12 months. Next year, the rate hikes will be even worse and they will double and triple in the years ahead.
It’s the mayor’s doing. He talks a green game but he hasn’t done anything to create green energy or even develop a plan to do so.
The DWP has a wretched record for wind and solar energy despite
squandering millions of dollars and now it is desperate for money to buy
renewables at premium prices from companies that have it so it can meet
the state-mandated goal of 20 percent by year’s end.
reason for the lack of renewables is long-term opposition from union
bully Brian D’Arcy whose members are paid 30 to 40 percent premiums and
just got raises of up to 4 percent for the next four years despite the
city’s financial crisis.
Today, we learn even rate hikes are not
enough. The mayor also wants a
$2.50 a month surcharge from every customer, surcharges that are
sure to rise rapidly once established.
The vehicle for
disseminating this proposal is the mayor’s dishonestly named Committee
for Government Excellence and Accountability. It should be called the
Committee for Political Corruption and Public Deceit.
nothing but a slush fund for developers to buy “access,” which is why
they have poured
$4 million into it in recent years, money that helped fund the notorious
group ACORN, to fight for the failed Measure B solar energy plan
and pass the mayor’s illegal takeover of the schools among other things.
surcharge supposedly will help DWP meet the mayor’s artificial goal of
eliminating the utility’s heavy dependence on coal power plants by 2020.
give you an idea of how high this surcharge will go, consider this:
$2.50 generate $30 million a year in revenue compared to the $700
million the ECAF will generate by driving up electricity charges from
the 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour charged last year to 15.8 cents they
With one in five DWP customers getting heavily
subsidized rates, the burden is put entirely on the middle class, the
same people who are watching the few services they use like parks and
libraries decimated, the same people who have been getting hit for years
with all the increases in fees, rate and taxes.
If you won’t go
to the wall in fighting against this ripoff, you will get what you
On Saturday, the DWP advocacy committee led by Jack
Humphreville will take up the issue at 12:30 p.m. after the LA
Neighborhood Council Coalition meeting in Glassell Park.
you think should be done? What are you prepared to do? Let me know your
thoughts at email@example.com..