All of the outrage about the proposed rate increases for Glendale's municipal water and power service has me wondering if any of the writers/speakers have ever lived in a city served by the big Southern California electricity provider.
We moved to Glendale 15 years ago and were pleasantly surprised to find our utility bills to be easily half of what we had been paying in another nearby city. We have always been conscious of conservation of water and electrical usage, so our habits didn't change; just the provider and rates did.
It appears that in the past, the city utility has been a revenue source for the general fund and maybe that is the bigger issue here. However, it is like a household budget where all of the income is spread to cover all of the expenses; the city is fortunate to have had the income from its local utility to help provide general services to its citizens.
An increase of more than 20% all at once would be hard to swallow; spread incrementally over 5 years (8%, 7%, 5%, 2%, 2% as shown in Ron Kaye's article Aug. 11), it is not excessive. Believe me, we are still enjoying a much lower cost of power than most Southern Californians. We cannot expect to keep our rates flat when the cost to provide the service continues to increase.
There are many areas of the city's finances and spending habits that could be subject to reduction or elimination, but to pin all of the frustration with the costs of living in Glendale on the GWP rate proposal and suggest that this increase as proposed will be a great hardship just doesn't make sense. I would hate to see the city go out of the power business and turn us over to the big player in the state — now that would be a hardship.