The resolution for Measure B is ambiguous and disingenuous.
It’s not about amending the city charter to update accounting provisions to eliminate obsolete funds, or to reflect general accounting principles, or to clarify existing language regarding fund transfers.
This initiative eliminates the current prohibition against GWP receipts from being credited directly to the general budget fund that subsidizes governmental general services, such as police, parks, libraries. It changes the city’s charter Article XI’s sections by eliminating the surplus and reserve fund with all its protections and other critical accounts.
Measure B is all about legalizing the taking of 25% of GWP’s revenues at the beginning of each fiscal year as a line item appropriation, instead of 25% from the Surplus Fund at year’s end. It would legalize raiding the utility before the utility’s existing needs are met.
GWP’s infrastructure is in dire need of capital improvements. Approximately $21 million is transferred annually from GWP to subsidize general services, regardless of surplus, though the charter only authorizes use of GWP surplus money for other GWP needs.
GWP no longer has adequate reserves left to pay for infrastructure costs. A vote for Measure B is a vote for higher future water and electric rates, and bond issuances needed to pay for escalating and unsustainable police and firefighter salaries, pensions and benefits and other general city obligations.