Re "Garcetti's DWP test," Editorial, Aug. 25
Your discussion of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's negotiating strength glossed over the interesting and relatively unique position the mayor finds himself in: to wit, a Democrat elected to office with no obligation to a major public employees union as a result of that union's support for his opponent.
The Democratic Party has made union support a cornerstone of its fundraising and voter turnout efforts for decades, and your editorial makes clear that the unions expect something in return. Is it any wonder that in California and Los Angeles, both of which are controlled by Democrats, union contracts are a major contributor to their fiscal calamities?
In the case of Los Angeles, a final mayoral choice between two Democrats at least provides the opportunity for one of them to enter office unburdened by a fiscal choke-chain held by public employee unions.
I congratulate Garcetti for putting his feet down to tweak the terms of the new contract with the union representing most Department of Water and Power workers.
However, because DWP employee salaries are on average 20% higher than those of other city workers, it would have been better to freeze compensation until such time that other employees' pay catches up with the DWP's.
Meanwhile, my only viable plan is to leave L.A. rather than wait for the cows to come home. Good luck, Mayor Garcetti, in your next round of negotiations.
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