Coalition files a protest Letter against Electric and Water rate Increases
Dear Mayor Sinanyan and Council Members,
The Coalition fully realizes operating and supplying utility services costs money, and the Coalition is not opposed to reasonable and legal rate increases when necessary to supply those services. The Coalition also realizes the need for energy and water conservation and supports conservation measures that are done in a legal and ethical manner.
As you are aware, the Coalition has sued the City for the illegal use of utility fees in violation of not only California State Law, but violation of the City’s own Charter. These law suits were won in Los Angeles County Superior Court and the City appealed those judgments.
With regard to the proposed Electric rate increase, we protest the increase on the following points:
1. The Cost of Service Analysis (COSA) includes a yearly budgeted transfer of approximately 21 million dollars from the Utility to the City’s General Fund.
The Utility is permitted to charge fees sufficient to provide the service the fee is collected for. Any levy, charge, or exaction by a local government, that does not fit one of seven exceptions enumerated on Prop. 26 is considered a tax. A tax requires a vote of the people.
2. In the COSA there is no consideration for Reserve moneys as required by Article XI, of the City Charter
3. In the COSA there is a budgeted item for bond debt payment, but the City Council has not approved the bond amount that the COSA refers to.
4. The actual COSA for the proposed Electric rate increase was not available to the public for review in a timely manner and therefore, having a meeting for “Public Input” on the rate increase based on an unavailable COSA has questionable value when the public is denied the full details. The summary did not contain all the needed information the public should have access to.
5. The outreach communication sent out by the utility cited yearly “Revenue Increases” and not what the rate payer rate increases would be. The Utility referred to a “revenue increase” of one percent per year while the actual rate increase in years 2-5 was 12% or 3% per year. This was a cleaver spin to present the rate increase to the public that made it confusing and unethical.
With regard to the proposed Water rate increase, the Coalition protests the increase on the follow points:
1. The COSA charges the rate payers on a tier structure that has been determined by the Courts to be in violation of State Law.
2. Fire protection costs continue to be included in the water rates and it is not a proper charge in the cost to supply water.
The Coalition demands that the City act in a legal and ethical manner and reconsider these rate increases before approving them.
Glendale Coalition for Better Government