Letter: Citizens need to be well informed

Some Glendale citizens defend water and electric rate increases arguing that they are needed to offset costs for water importing and infrastructure maintenance. These people are knowingly, or unknowingly, ignoring very important facts and by doing so are supporting special interests.

For years, Glendale’s City Council has been starving GWP while neglecting its infrastructure. Tens of millions of GWP funds are transferred annually to the General Fund where they are used to cover expenditures unrelated to the utility.

To be more precise, in the years when the rate increases took effect, the amount of funds transferred from the utility to the General Fund was much higher than the utility’s (operating and nonoperating) income which largely depleted the utility’s net assets. In simple words the transfer was the equivalent of a business owner taking out of his/her business a sum of money superior to the business annual net revenue. The result would be an undercapitalized, ailing business.

Yes, it is easy to manipulate public opinion; by using scare tactics, arguing urgency and misinforming the public with the aid of mass media. City government has the money, power, and access to the media as well as the support of a well-organized team of individuals that they use to manipulate public opinion.

With the Internet we now have access to large amounts of public information, but few of us access those resources, such as the CAFR (Comprehensive Audited Financial Report). By not being well informed, we allow special interest to manipulate us, conducting us to support unsustainable cost and unreasonable charges and fees that just benefit a small group of individuals.

Frank Gallo

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