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Rate Payer Advocate at DWP: A Stark Example of Why City Hall Cannot Reform Itself

Three months after voters approved setting up a Ratepayer Advocate and independent watchdog agency on the Department of Water and Power, the City Council got around to taking the first tentative steps needed to bring it to life.

The meeting last Tuesday of the Energy and Environment Committee revealed more about why L.A. is broke and broken than anything else that has happened recently
It’s hard to be sure whether Perry and committee members Paul Koretz, Richard Alarcon and Paul Krekorian are completely stupid or just so cynical they think they can get away with anything.
They figured out suddenly that what critics had been saying along: Council President Eric Garcetti gutted the reform proposals at the last minute and they all went along with the charade and did their best to dupe the public into believing that they would no longer be robbed blind by the DWP..
Chagrined to find out the Rate Payer Advocate was neither independent or empowered to do anything about anything, Perry promised to carry on as if nothing were wrong, offering an unequivocal commitment to block all rate increases until the Office of Public Accountability they created as a toothless watchdog was in operation.
Listen to Perry: NoRPA-NoHikes.mp3
It took until Friday for the city’s techies to post the audio of the committee meeting online and I’ve broken down key portions of the hearing. It’s important for the public to understand what took up most of the Council members time was an astonishing discussion that showed they didn’t know that they put on the March 8 ballot a measure that was watered-down by Garcetti.
Perry was shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear the outside counsel hired to handle the Rate Payer Advocate issue, retired Assistant City Attorney Fred Merkin, explain that the RPA has no authority or independence and is merely an employee of the Office of Public Accountability’s executive director.
Listen to what she said:  Perry-RPA.mp3     Perry-Chaos.mp3
Then, it was Koretz’s turn to be dumbfounded to learn that Council President Eric Garcetti had watered down the reform to the point it was meaningless and totally under the control of the mayor, Council and even DWP officials. Listen to Koretz for yourself Koretz-RPA.mp3
But when it comes to raw emotion of outrage and disgust, no one can compare to Alarcon, the accused felon, especially when he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s saying — unless, of course, he’s just faking ignorance to avoid responsibility for his actions. Hear him whine Alarcon.mp3
Then, there’s Krekorian, who has emerged as the Council’s wiliest apologist rationalizing how the Council bamboozled the public into thinking they were getting genuine reform of the rogue utility by just pretending Measure I achieved what it was supposed to. In his own words, you can listen to him Krekorian.mp3
In the end, the bureaucrats suggested just ignoring the problems with Measure I and come back at the end of the month with proposed ordinances that give the mayor and Garcetti the power to pick a citizen’s committee to find an executive director for the OPA. BeItUnresolved.mp3
As the meeting was ending, Chuck Ray, head of the Neighborhood Council oversight committee on the DWP, got a few minutes to share his throughts as if they matter. Here’s what he said PublicComment-Adjourn.mp3
You can download the whole hearing here.
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11 Responses to Rate Payer Advocate at DWP: A Stark Example of Why City Hall Cannot Reform Itself

  1. Anonymous says:

    Never before in my life have I understood sadly that we have nothing but a bunch of incompetent LOSERS in City Hall. Not one day goes by without me getting an email about their stupidity over and over. Now I just read Cardenas, the Mexican Mafia gangster wants to run for Congress. If that isn’t the ultimate insult to his constituents. He’s proven to be an unethical, lying bastard just like all the rest.

  2. Noel Weiss says:

    Ron:
    Could you please post the video of Garcetti watering down the RPA at the ‘near’ midnight hour? Then if you can compare and contrast that with the City Council hearing where the Union reps and ‘civic leaders’ said how it was so necessary to delay and dilute the proposal, the people will get the idea of how the special interests ‘play the game’.
    There were six hearings where Garcetti and Perry sat and listened, and refused to commit. . . Then they waffled.
    The objectives of the ‘insiders’ and special interests who wish to retain their power and influcence whenever change is sought is to dilute and deflect. . . when in doubt ‘study’ the proposal. . . . If that doesn’t work, complicate the proposal with bureaucratic and/or legal obstacles or uncertainties.
    That’s what’s going on now. . . with a compliant City Attorney whose desire for his budget caused him to back-down when it mattered. . .
    The goal for the politicos. . . ‘Pander’ and ‘pretend’.
    This is the reason why a true honest broker is needed. . . a ‘public advocate/inspector general’, elected by the people with (a) a protected budget in the Charter, and (b) a thorough, competent whistle-blower protection law so that those within the bowels of the bureaucracy who want to do a good job can help us obtain government services devoid of fraud, waste, or abuse to the greatest extent possible.
    It will also prevent these situations where the politicians seek to hide behind the City Attorney who should serve and represent the people (the beneficiaries of the public trust known as the ‘City of LA’). The City Attorney has ‘morphed’ into ‘Rocky-II’. . . representing the politicians and their special interest friends instead of the broader public interest.
    Noel Weiss

  3. Anonymous says:

    It appears that we have a corrupt City Attorney, part of the Spring Street gang.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It has been years now that you have reported on the “mafioso” control of our city and over and over again you are proven correct. I am sharing your messages in order to educate my friends, family and co-workers. And I ask them to share.
    We must vote with a knowledge of how treacherous
    and greedy these people are that have taken us hostage.
    Thank you, Ron, for ALL that you do for LA and for all of us.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Today’s politicians are “ENLIGHTENED DESPOTS”!

  6. Progressive says:

    This is were corruption begins. Eric Garcetti. Any deception in process and abuse of Procecure He never served in Iraq. nothing more than Annual Tour in Hawaii, on WaiKiki Beach. How disguisting are these people in Government.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Perry announced she has made the $200,000 Mayoral campaign mark. How much do you want to bet AEG donated to her campaign? We should find out how much IBEW has donated to Garcetti’s or any of the other candidates campaign. How can these losers vote on issues when they’re getting money from the people who will profit from their votes? All in a day’s corrupt work at City Hall.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why would Eric Garcetti water down the powers of the Rate Payer?
    I want all his business friends in Hollywood, the BAR Owners and Small Business, Know this: Eric Garcetti has two faces, one is for you and the other is to hold higher office, above and beyond the Office of Mayor. Hell, he may run for Office of the Controller. And to get there he will raise your Utilites because LADWP wants that. Another words, Eric is afraid of them and the FBI should step in to examine the entire operations, as Corruption has infested all departments of LA City Government

  9. Concerned LA Constit says:

    It’s amazing how easily you Los Angelenos are fooled. It’s been three months since the Governor declared the drought over, two months since MWD canceled their shortage allocation, and yet LADWP is still sticking it to you with their Shortage Year Rates. Let me tell you a little secret, we are no longer in a water shortage in California. Lake Oroville is 99% full and may spill this weekend.
    Did it ever occur to you, they really like your money?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Even in Pasadena, they declared the water shortage was over. But we are talking about LA, its corrupt politicians and even more corrupt IBEW. Suffer for not taking any interest in local politics.

  11. Valley res says:

    Not all us Angelenos are that easy to fool, but unfortunately we are in the minority and overwhelmed by the stupid people who get to vote just because they have a pulse. So yes, we suffer, but not because we don’t take an interest in local politics, but because many other voters accept whatever lies these scumbags tell them at election time as if it were gospel.
    It’s infuriating to see voters swallow these lies time and time again and put the same liars and scumbags back into office after they have acted like criminals (and sometimes been indicted) when they were in office last time. I don’t know what else to do about it, and it’s giving me gray hair.

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