Friday, October 15, 2010

Next DWP Reform Meeting is October 18th

The sixth of my citywide series of hearings on DWP reform will continue Monday, October 18th at 6 p.m. in North Hollywood at East Valley High School, 5525 Vineland Ave., 91601.

I am leading these hearings to obtain input from Los Angeles residents, business owners, consumer advocates and experts on reforming the DWP to increase transparency and accountability at the agency. This joint hearing of the City Council's Rules and Energy and Environment committees is being held in partnership with Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry (Chair of the Energy & Environment Committee) and Paul Krekorian, in whose district this hearing is being held. The goal is to ensure the DWP puts its customers – the people of Los Angeles – first.

A key focus of these hearings is my Charter amendment, proposed for the March 2011 ballot, establishing an independent DWP watchdog who would serve as a ratepayer/customer advocate. I have chosen to pursue a Charter amendment because only voters can change the Charter, protecting the independent watchdog from political or DWP interference. I feel very strongly that DWP's customers -- the people of Los Angeles -- deserve independent assurance of fair utility rates, and that real DWP reform starts with an independent watchdog to enforce transparency and accountability.

I have also passed through the Council a proposed Charter amendment to ensure public scrutiny of the DWP budget and minimize the uncertainty the DWP can inject into the overall city budget process. My plan would require the DWP to publicly present its budget well in advance of the budget deadline and would change the current deadline that allows the DWP to pass its budget after the city passes its overall budget, as was the case this year.

DWP is a vital, multi-billion dollar part of our city, so I encourage you to attend, or send me your thoughts at