GWP shouldn't be city's cash cow

What should the public expect, when council members have received thousands of dollars in campaign monies from our city unions? These public servants have to find money, somehow and somewhere, to pay back the unions for their past generous campaign contributions..”

This month our council members approved another water revenue bond for $35 million. After 30 years this debt to the citizens of Glendale will be about $60 million.

Our new city manager, Scott Ochoa, blamed the previous administration for the problems at Glendale Water and Power but failed to mention our current council members had to approve every GWP revenue bond, water and electric rate increase and the unnecessary funding of $70 million for “smart meter” technology in the present economic climate.

Even with the never-ending water and electric rate increases and the violation of Proposition 218 since the year 2000, the council has transferred about $4 million annually from the water fund of GWP into the General Fund to pay for unfunded and unsustainable salaries and pensions for our city employees.

Again, our city attorney said the city charter allowed the annual transfer of money from GWP to the General Fund. However, the “people’s attorney,” Harry Zavos, argued the state’s constitution takes precedence over the city charter and thus the transfer of money from GWP is illegal. (“Officials reaffirm legality of GWP fund transfers,” Nov. 22)

Because of council mistakes, Fitch Investor Service downgraded $50-million worth of water bonds issued in 2008, partially due to GWP’s lack of liquidity. Recently, Moody Investor Service put Glendale on “credit watch” as it reviews possible downgrading of future bonds.

In just 12 years, our city councils have drained Glendale Water and Power of approximately $235 million, giving city unions for their unsustainable and unfunded wages and pensions. Needed money for infrastructure repairs falls behind annually.

Glendale Water and Power is supposed to be an enterprise fund for the city and is supposed to be self-sustaining and not a “cash cow” as some council members believe. Why the cover-up at GWP?

Mike Mohill

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