City should repay GWP transfers

In the Oct. 12 article “Glendale mulls April ballot issues,” reporter Brittany Levine wrote, “In addition, the City Council also directed the city treasurer to look into drafting a measure that would ask voters to change the city Charter's instructions about how money is transferred from Glendale Water & Power to the General Fund, which pays for police, parks and other public services.”

But what the article failed to inform Glendale News-Press readers is that the current city Charter mandates that transfers can only be made from the GWP Surplus Fund to the Charter-created General Reserve Fund. Furthermore, Section 14 of the current city Charter, which establishes the General Budget Fund, excludes GWP receipts from being credited to it. Instead, for many years now the city has illegally been transferring funds as line-item appropriations directly from the GWP Electric/Water Revenue Funds to the General Fund. This has been pointed out to the City Council repeatedly by retired law professor Harry Zavos.

Had the current Charter been obeyed and the illegal transfers not taken place, the GWP would have had adequate funds to maintain its infrastructure and there would be no reason to even discuss raising water and electric rates, or for the necessity to issue bonds. At this point, the correct and ethical thing for the City Council to do is to direct that every cent of the illegally transferred funds (more than $245 million in the past 12 years) be returned to the GWP from the General Fund, perhaps in a number of annual payments, and that cuts be made in General Fund accounts to correct for past inappropriate expenditures.

Hal Weber

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