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.
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.