Thu, Aug

Ratepayers Advocate: Some Progress … Finally

OVERSIGHT - On Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM, over six months since 78% of the voters approved Measure I approving the Ratepayers Advocate, the five member Citizen’s Committee for the Selection of the Executive Director of the Office of Public Accountability will have its inaugural meeting in Room 1010 of City Hall. (Link)

While a significant portion of the meeting will be procedural with riveting presentations by the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst, the City Administrative Officer, and the Personnel Department, we will have the opportunity to hear from the five committee members as they discuss their backgrounds, experiences, and why they are interested in serving as a member of this very important committee that will have a lasting impact on our Department of Water and Power.

The Committee will also discuss the role of the Executive Director as well as the selection process.  

But absent from the agenda is any discussion of the role and selection of the Ratepayers Advocate and its impact on the timing of the proposed increases in our water and power rates.   Already, the delays caused by the City Council will have an adverse impact on our Department of Water and Power.  

Unfortunately, the City Council has not even drafted an ordinance that spells out the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director or the Ratepayers Advocate, nor has it drafted any of the other necessary ordinances as specified in Measure I, including the proposed budget for the Office of Public Accountability.

As recommended in the August 18 CityWatch article, “Ratepayers Advocate: Union Bo$$ Fiddles and City Hall Churns”, the Citizens Commission would save considerable time and energy by endorsing the September 2010 Ratepayers Advocate Term Sheet that calls for a “well funded, empowered, and truly independent Ratepayers Advocate to review and analyze the operations, finances, and management of DWP as well as other matters not explicitly excluded from its role.”

The selection of the Executive Director of the Office of Public Accountability and the subsequent appointment of the Ratepayers Advocate is already under suspicion because of the November emasculation of the Ratepayers Advocate Term Sheet by the Garcetti led IBEW Eight and the further delays by the City Council in implementing the necessary ordinances.

We need an open and transparent process that selects a qualified and experienced Executive Director that has the trust of the Ratepayers.  Otherwise, our Department of Water and Power, which has worked hard to be open and transparent, will continue to be a political football in the upcoming elections due to the continuing political interference by the self serving, campaign funding Union Bo$$ d’Arcy and his puppets in City Hall.

No TRUSTED Ratepayers Advocate, No Rate Increase.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at:  [email protected] )

Tags: Ratepayer Advocate, Citizens Committee, City Council, DWP

Vol 9 Issue 75
Pub: Sept 20, 2011