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Charter Amendment LA-I
DWP Ratepayer Advocate
City of Los Angeles
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 168,014 / 77.9% Yes votes ...... 47,772 / 22.1% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall the Charter be amended to establish an Office of Public Accountability for the Department of Water and Power, overseen by an Executive Director appointed by a citizens committee and confirmed by the Council and Mayor for a five-year term, to provide public independent analysis of Department actions as they relate to water and electricity rates?
The DWP does not currently have an Office of Public Accountability (OPA) to provide independent analysis and assessment of Department actions with respect to water and electricity rates. Also, the Department does not have a Ratepayer Advocate to address consumer protection matters.
This measure would:
You want to establish the Office of Public Accountability to provide public reports and independent analysis of Department of Water and Power actions as they relate to water and electricity rates.
A NO VOTE MEANS:
You do not want to establish the Office of Public Accountability to provide public reports and independent analysis of Department of Water and Power actions as they relate to water and electricity rates.
The OPA would be overseen by an Executive Director who shall be appointed by a citizens committee to a five-year term, subject to confirmation by the Council and Mayor. The Executive Director shall be exempt from civil service and would report directly to, but not be instructed by, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. The measure requires that the Council, by ordinance, establish appointment provisions for the citizens committee and removal procedures for the Executive Director. The removal provisions for the Executive Director must be similar to removal provisions for the Chief of Police, as specified in Charter Section 575(e).
The Charter amendment requires that the Council, by ordinance, establish the provisions for the operation of the OPA and the Ratepayer Advocate, which shall include, at a minimum, reporting schedules and requirements and consumer protection procedures. The OPA will be required to periodically issue public reports.
The primary role of the OPA will be to provide independent analysis of Department actions as they relate to water and electricity rates. The measure specifies that the OPA will have access to information to fulfill its responsibilities, and provides that the Executive Director will have the following authority and responsibilities:
This measure will become effective if approved by a majority of voters.
|Arguments For Charter Amendment LA-I|
Measure I creates the Office of Public Accountability, Ratepayer Advocate
YES on MEASURE I: Bring greater transparency to the DWP
For too long, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has proposed significant increases in our water and electricity rates with little explanation for their need and no guarantee of how the money would be spent. Despite recommendations by outside experts, DWP has not implemented studies to determine the efficiency of its operations.
DWP leaders have even refused to provide financial information to City Councilmembers who have questioned the need for rate increases. And because the DWP's budget is independent from the City's General Fund budget, there is little transparency of the Department's operations, finances, strategy, or long-term plans.
YES on MEASURE I: Hold DWP accountable to its customers
Measure I establishes a Ratepayer Advocate and Office of Public Accountability to shed greater light on the DWP's operations and finances. The Ratepayer Advocate will be an independent watchdog, charged with analyzing proposed increases in our water and power rates on a timely and continuous basis. Other matters may also be studied as needed.
YES on MEASURE I: Increase consumer protection
Measure I increases consumer protection by authorizing the Office of Public Accountability to investigate legitimate complaints from DWP customers and to propose recommendations to the DWP Board of Directors and management to address these issues.
Although it is a municipally owned utility, the DWP has acted with little accountability to its owners + the people of Los Angeles. DWP expects to spend more $60 billion over the next ten years. Its customers deserve to know whether those funds are being spent efficiently.
Enough is enough. Vote YES on MEASURE I to increase the Department of Water and Power's accountability and responsiveness to its customers.
BERNARD C. PARKS
(No arguments against Charter Amendment LA-I were submitted)