With the DWP Commission calling a special meeting on rate hikes for 5 p.m. Thursday, Council President Eric Garcetti — apparently acting in concert with mayor who is expected to make a major announcement Thursday — pushed through approval of 5.7 percent increase on an 8-5 vote.
Read the story on OurLA.org
Here’s the video of Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has spearheaded efforts for dramatic reforms of the DWP, explaining why Garcetti’s action was premature.
The Council voted 8-5 to approve the rate hike in advance of the DWP Commission meeting where the agenda merely said it will discuss its decision for an ECAF increase.
The Council under an obscure rule took up the issue without any public notice. The vote was 8-5 but who voted on each side was not broadcast on Channel 35 and is not on the city website. The timing was clearly staged and it is being acknowledged that Herb Wesson was the intermediary of a backroom deal.
How Council members voted was not shown on Ch. 35 and is not posted on Council website.
Chastened from the intensity of attacks on him at a community meeting Tuesday, Councilman Tom LaBonge — who previously supported DWP rate hikes — flipped Wednesday and voted against without explanation. LaBonge, a former DWP executive and long-time supporter, got a pass because a bare majority was rigged to support the increase.
Here is the statement the mayor issue afterwards:
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA ON THE CITY COUNCIL’S COMPROMISE PLAN FOR DWP RATES
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Villaraigosa issued the following statement after the City
Council passed a compromise plan for rate increases at the Department of Water
“I’d like to thank the members of the City Council who today offered a
reasonable compromise which protects ratepayers, the financial health of the
Department of Water and Power, and commits the DWP to renewable energy and I
urge the members of the Commission to adopt this reasonable plan.”