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City Council Agrees to Raise LADWP Rates

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A LADWP building in Sherman Oaks | Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

A LADWP building in Sherman Oaks | Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
The standoff between L.A. elected officials and the L.A. Department of Water and Power may finally come to an end after the City Council yesterday agreed to raise rates for a three-month period. The 0.6 cent per kilowatt increase is pretty much the same as the one the group approved earlier this month, but which ultimately did not happen after the Board of Water and Power Commissioners rejected the rate in lieu of a 0.7 increase, which the Council then rejected. The Board will meet today to consider the recommended rate increase.

"We want to reiterate what our position was, nothing more, nothing less," said City Council President Eric Garcetti, reported the Daily News, which quoted a handful of angry councilmembers.

"The mayor needs to replace this (DWP) commission that has been holding the city hostage. "It is ridiculous that this one agency feels it can act this way," said Councilman Dennis Zine. He opposed the plan along with Bernard Parks, Jan Perry, Paul Krekorian and Tom LaBonge.

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Anger surfaced when the DWP reneged on a promised and budgeted $73.5 million to the city's general fund, which pays for basic services like police and streets. Yesterday, the acting general manager of the utility added that they might not hire 51 laid-off city employees.

That angered Jan Perry: "The day before, when we were discussing an independent ratepayer advocate, they didn't show up. Now, a memo like this - it is outrageous."

And Paul Koretz: "I keep looking for signs of sanity on the horizon from them and it doesn't seem to come. You wonder if they don't want to be part of the city family, maybe we should disown them."

“We’re pleased with the council’s actions,” said DWP Acting General Manager Raman Raj after the approved increase.