In a breaktakingly incorrect article on the front page, the Daily News yesterday headlined, "Surprise! 4.3% Hike for water?", it describes how the DWP has - supposedly - broken its promises to the Neighborhood Councils about an independent financial review.
This is totally and completely...wrong.
Now unlike the NC members quoted, I was at the very first meeting with Jerry Gewe well over a year ago when we first signed an agreement to agree on a MOU, and then after fifty meetings, I was also on the final negotiating team who worked with Ron Deaton on the last changes to the language of the document.
And Ron Deaton and the LADWP have fulfilled every single promise they have made to us - and even more so.
We have known all along that more money was going to be needed to deal with both improved water quality control standards and for post 9/11 security concerns. We have also been kept informed of the status of the budget every step of the way with repeated briefings.
We also know that a budget has to be proposed and adopted with a recommendation for needed revenue increases BEFORE the independent audit can take place to see if this is justified. And we also know that the rate increase will not be formally proposed, much less voted on, until the budget is approved. And then we will be given the 90 days to study proposal
Now how any one article can get so many facts in it dead wrong - I do not know.
Special City Council Committee meeting today (June 14th) to investigate if the DWP was following the rules of proper notification of an rate increase to the neighborhood councils. A number of us spoke - and we vindicated them. Then the reporter who wrote the above story - on a very short deadline, she said - interviewed us all and very graciously apologized for the parts of the story she had gotten wrong.