Glendale Coalition for Better Government Sues the City of Glendale
The Glendale Coalition for Better Government, a non profit organization of residents and business owners have filed a lawsuit in the interest of its citizens.
“Today we have served the city of Glendale,” announced Attorney Arthur Jarvis Cohen. “The city of Glendale has illegally transferred funds in violation of the California State Constitution and its own city charter. Ninety Million dollars that were to be used for the water and electric utilities have been improperly used for other purposes, many of which should have required a vote of the people of Glendale.”
The Los Angeles Grand jury stated the city of Glendale has improperly used Glendale Water and Power (GWP) as it’s “piggy bank” for budgetary shortfalls.
State Proposition 218 mandates that water fees cannot be used to fund general government. Collecting the fees in the name of water and then transferring them to the General budget fund makes the fees a hidden tax and is against the law.
For years, the city of Glendale have hidden the city’s financial deficit by illegally transferring utility funds, misappropriating them into the city’s general budget fund. This practice has dangerously compromised Glendale’s public utilities and public safety. As a result, the Glendale public utilities are now in the red.
“While the city has been illegally siphoning off GWP revenues to pay for things unconnected with supplying ratepayers with electricity or water, it has ignored critical infrastructure needs of the utility. GWP has stated that some water mains were in such disrepair and low in pressure they could not support one additional fire hydrant if needed,” said resident Harry Zavos.
“This practice bypasses Glendale’s residents and illegally imposes backdoor taxes on Glendale residents,” said Roland Kedikian. “To the detriment of local businesses and residents, for years Glendale has been transferring funds from its utility GWP in violation of the Law. Those transfers are nothing but an illegal back door tax imposed on all Glendale citizens without citizens right to vote on these taxes.”
Frank Gallo, President of the Glendale Coalition for Better Government said,“In the past two years, the citizens of Glendale have suffered two abusive utility rate increases. The basic rate doubled for most residents while the dedicated fire line cost for businesses increased ten fold and now our public utilities are not being maintained putting residents and property at risk.”
Glendale business owners and residents have gone before the city council on numerous occasions and have voiced these serious concerns and we have been ignored. In fact, we have been essentially told by the Mayor: ‘We’ve been over this before, if you don’t like it — sue.” So, with that directive and understanding that the council will do nothing to remedy their violations of the law, the coalition is here today to announce the filing of this lawsuit,” said Harry Zavos.
Through this lawsuit, the Glendale Coalition for Better Government is seeking the reimbursement of illegally misappropriated funds back to the utility and it’s intended purpose.
“We demand the city of Glendale respect the state constitution and the city charter. If we must obey the law so should the city,” said Gallo