- Written by Rick Orlov
31 May 2011
INSIDE CITY HALL - The City Council hasn't yet hired a ratepayer advocate who could analyze any rate hikes proposed by the Department of Water and Power.
But, in a first-of-its-kind meeting, the council's Energy and Environment Committee and the civilian DWP commission will hold a joint meeting on Saturday to review the DWP's financial plan and its needs for future rate increases.
DWP General Manager Ron Nichols will make the presentation, which is expected to include a forecast of rates.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who chairs the committee, said she sees the hearing as a precursor to the ratepayer advocate - officially, the Office of Public Accountability.
"I want to make it clear that we will not move ahead with any rate increases until we have the Office of Public Accountability created," Perry said. "What I hope this meeting accomplishes is laying out a clear understanding of what the DWP needs and what it is looking at."
The meeting will be held 9-11 a.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.
As for the ratepayer advocate, the council's Rules Committee is to get a report on Wednesday on the process for hiring for the new office. Perry said she hopes to see the new department in place by the end of the year.
To politicians, they are referred to as "grips-and-grins" - fundraisers held at the homes of supporters, with a small group of potential donors as guests.
And, from the looks of it, candidate Austin Beutner will have sore hands for a while.
Beutner, who served for a year as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's jobs czar, has five events scheduled through mid-June.
One of the bigger events is scheduled for June 7 at the Brentwood home of former Mayor Richard Riordan. Two others are taking him outside the L.A. city limits - with one in Beverly Hills and another in Hidden Hills.
Greuel and Perry, who also are interested in becoming mayor, also have events scheduled: Greuel's is in Encino and Perry's will be in downtown Los Angeles.
Vol 9 Issue 43
Pub: May 31, 2011