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Seeking Transparency Within a Troubled LADWP

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DWP Headquarters downtown | Photo by Omar Omar via Flickr
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Have a frank talk with an LADWP official this month and they'll tell you it's been a tough few weeks. The perception of the city-owned utility has gone downhill amid a series of water main breaks, the sudden resignation of David Nahai (however, with a comfy consulting gig) and one moderate rainstorm knocking out electricity service to nearly 50,000 customers.

Such can be life in the big city, but the people have grown weary and tired of the same old problems with the same old solutions of tax increases. Looking to smooth things out, two Valley councilmembers introduced motions this week that would give taxpayers at least some transparency.

Councilman and water scofflaw Greig Smith yesterday introduced a motion "to create an Inspector General position to serve as an independent watchdog that would review and report on the operations and management actions of the Department of Water and Power (DWP) in order to help restore the public's trust in the DWP," according to his office.

Continued: "The Inspector General would have complete and unfettered access to all records, personnel meetings, key documents and contracts at all times. The Inspector General would report findings directly to the public without interference from the DWP’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners, the Office of the Mayor, the City Council, Neighborhood Councils, or special interest groups."