OK, some poor decisions may have been made in the past by Glendale city government regarding city employee pensions. Nevertheless, money to balance the city’s general fund budget would be in very short supply even if those decisions had never been made. The basic cause of our city’s current financial problems is Prop. 13 and the other state laws that have hamstrung our city’s ability to raise, through taxation and fees, sufficient revenue to adequately protect us and to cover the infrastructure issues that face any city of Glendale’s size.
So the city must look to alternate ways of funding its varied responsibilities. Using Glendale Water & Power as a profit center seems a logical solution. Thus, we are experiencing annual $21-million transfers from Glendale Water & Power to the city’s general fund, which, along with deferred maintenance and rising costs, necessitates the proposed cumulative 29% increase in electricity rates to be implemented in stages over the next five years. Why not? Other cities that are fortunate enough to possess their own power facilities are doing it. Even with the proposed increase, city electricity rates will be competitive with what we would have to pay a private utility such as Southern California Edison or PG&E.;
It’s all right to grumble, but we have no good alternative other than to accept the proposed increase in electricity rates. Accepting it is a much better option than forcing the city to run dangerous deficits or to abandon a substantial part of its civic commitments.