Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Letter To Constituents From L.A. Councilman Greig Smith on DWP Charter Reform

April 7, 2010

Dear Victims:

Today, I introduced a package of eight motions on Wednesday, April 7 to restructure and reform the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and establish much-needed transparency and rate-payer advocacy.

This major reform includes changes to the City Charter and will restructure the DWP and hold it accountable to residents, businesses and Neighborhood Councils.

Residents and businesses in L.A. have had enough and they demand reform of the DWP. We need to bring comprehensive reform to restore citizens’ trust in this utility that they own.

The motions will:

- Improve customer service and make customer billing more transparent and easier to understand.

- Put a charter reform measure on the ballot to require the DWP’s budget, which was previously a closed book, to be voted on and adopted by the City Council.

- Put a charter reform measure on the ballot requiring Council approval for all rate increases.

- Put a charter reform measure on the ballot for wage parity, leveling the “paying field” between DWP positions, which pay much higher salaries, and identical positions in other City Departments.

- Discourage employee migration to DWP by preventing them from vesting in the DWP pension system for five years.

- Put a charter reform measure on the ballot to enable the City Council to remove any DWP Commissioner with a 2/3 majority vote.

- Put a charter reform measure on the ballot to enable the City Council to remove any DWP General Manager with a 2/3 majority vote.

- Reform the DWP Board of Commissioners, removing the Mayor’s sole appointment authority and dividing it among the Mayor, City Council and Neighborhood Councils. A certain number of Commissioners would also be required to have requisite expertise in specific industries.

Councilman Smith also introduced a motion in October, 2009 to create an Inspector General position that would serve as a completely independent watchdog over the DWP. He also introduced a motion that now requires an independent financial review for any rate increases.

To see all of the complete motions, visit http://tinyurl.com/DWPreform.

To see the editorial in the Daily News endorsing my motion to create an Inspector General position to serve as an independent watchdog over the DWP, visit http://tiny.cc/DWPeditorial.

Sincerely,

GREIG SMITH
Councilman, Twelfth District

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