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It's Official: Your Water & Power Bill Goes Up 23%

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As reported earlier today, the LA City Council was set to vote and approve rate hikes for the Department of Water and Power over the next four years. Now that all is said and done, the council approved the increases. Rick Orlov of the Daily News blogged updates throughout the meeting with some great talking points:

Trust & Transparency (link)

Councilwoman Janice Hahn said part of the problem facing the DWP is the lack of public trust. Complaining that officials did not include the cost of surcharges to buy natural gas in their figures, Hahn said she was tired of the "I'm shocked this is going on" attitude of the department managers.
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Same Old Story: We Don't Want To, But We're At The Tipping Point (link)

Councilman Richard Alarcon said the protests of the City Council over the DWP are meaningless unless they vote to reject the increase. "There is the old saying of sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me," Alarcon said. "Well, our sticks and stones is our vote."

As much as Alarcon gets flack for dubious motions (like supposedly adjusting district lines in favor of his girlfriend), he points out the contradictions of the city, who often pulls moves like this when everything hits critical mass. Remember the Phone Tax measure during the Presidential Primary? That was an emergency measure. And Hahn is right, there needs to be more transparency. If the DWP and the Mayor were straightforward about this from the beginning, the struggle over this issue probably would have been voted on months and months ago. There's nothing wrong with the reason (extremely old infrastructure) for the requested money, it was all how they went after it.

Photo by Sammis Co via Flickr