Our charter authorizes money transfers to the general reserve fund from the GWP surplus fund, using surplus monies leftover after all GWP needs and obligations are met. In conflict with the charter, Glendale annually transfers $21 million even without a surplus. Indeed, we’re told GWP must defer critically needed capital improvements because without rate increases, there’s no money for them.
Ballot Measure B legalizes this practice under the guise of merely streamlining for greater accord with accounting principles. But the issue isn’t merely one of accounting; it’s one of substance. The charter dictates GWP spending priorities; accounting principles describe how to report monies actually spent in accordance with those dictates. If the charter demands that utility needs must be met before any monies can be transferred, accounting principles can’t trump the charter; rather, all GWP needs must first be expensed against GWP receipts, and only then can there be an expense for transfers. Measure B makes transfers a GWP expense irrespective of a GWP surplus.
Our charter protects GWP by decreeing GWP transfers can only come from its surplus. Measure B legalizes the city’s practice of ignoring this protection by annually cannibalizing GWP of $21 million to support general appropriations while we’re told there’s no GWP money for critically needed infrastructure improvements.
“No” on Measure B retains this GWP charter protection to which citizens can appeal.