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'We Have Been Lied to Directly,' Says Garcetti of LADWP

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Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by polaroid-girl via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
In an analysis of the back and forth between the L.A. City Council and the L.A. Department of Water and Power, the LA Times comes to this: "too many members of the City Council don't trust" the LADWP.

"We have been lied to directly as policymakers and the overseers on behalf of the people," Council President Eric Garcetti told the paper. "They have changed their tune so many times in the last three months and have pretty boldly and baldly said things that we know not to be true."

The issue as of late is the annual power revenue transfer from the utility to the city's general fund, which pays for core services like police and potholes. The money was already promised and budgeted for. When the Council voted for a lower-than-desired carbon surcharge rate hike last month, mostly due to transparency in LADPW's process of introducing the rate hike, the utility, citing their own money woes, said they couldn't transfer the $73.5 million, enough to save the city from bankruptcy. That's made things more tense, especially when some councilmemembers said the LADWP was sitting on a billion in reserves.

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And making it worse were these two facts, as noted by the Times: "The DWP lost credibility with some members after it threatened to withhold the promised general fund money if the mayor's rate increase was rejected. Two months ago, interim General Manager S. David Freeman told the council -- and The Times -- that the payment would be made regardless of whether a rate increase was approved."

As for the LADWP, they feel like they're being used as a "punching bag." "We really do want to work in a more constructive way with members of the City Council," spokesman Joe Ramallo said.