Charter change isn't 'streamlining'

As one critic of city transfers of Glendale Water and Power electric receipts to pay for general services, I wish to respond to the story, “Council mulls April ballot issues,” Oct. 12.

It correctly states that opponents have argued the budgeted $21 million transfer is illegal because the Charter only authorizes transfers of GWP surplus monies, if any; and true, a Charter amendment could legalize this practice. But such an amendment would not take the wind out of my criticism.

I’ve also described how the Charter provision creating the General Budget Fund — created to receive general revenues and pay for general services —expressly excepts GWP receipts from being credited to it. How can the Charter prohibit crediting GWP receipts to the fund that pays for general services while authorizing GWP money transfers? Simple, the Charter authorizes transfers only to the General Reserve Fund, not the General Budget Fund. The transfer authorization is in the Charter section establishing the Surplus Fund; it mandates that transfers “…shall be … from said Glendale Water & Power surplus fund to the general reserve fund....” — a Charter-enacted reserve fund to advance money to other funds to put them on a cash basis pending tax collections. With one exception, these advances must be returned.

Only if the people vote both to authorize a specific sum of electrical receipts (instead of GWP surplus monies, if any) to go to the General Budget Fund (instead of the General Reserve Fund), will the wind be taken out of my argument that the current practice is illegal.

Be not deceived. Such changes aren’t merely procedural or merely streamlining. They’re substantive, with genuine consequences.

Harry Zavos

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