By Tony Wilkinson
Mayor Eric Garcetti has responded to the recommendations of the December DWP IEA Survey and the recent requests of Neighborhood Councils. He has formed a diverse community panel to advise the city on DWP Reform. The Mayor’s DWP Reform Working Group will meet weekly during the month of May. It will help craft a proposed November 2016 ballot measure for consideration by the City Council in June. The panel includes members who bring perspectives from the business, environmental, urban planning, housing, and Neighborhood Council communities. Tony Wilkinson, Chair of the NC-DWP MOU Oversight Committee, will be a participant.
City Council President Herb Wesson has scheduled a DWP Reform hearing at the Van Nuys City Hall on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:00 pm. He will convene his Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations, and Neighborhoods Committee, which also includes Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson. (Note: this is the same night as the STNC Board Meeting and Installation of the new board of directors. Stakeholders are encouraged to attend the DWP Reform hearing.)
Jill Banks Barad, Founder and Chair of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, will join the councilmembers on May 11 as a partner in soliciting community input on a proposed November 2016 ballot measure. Neighborhood Council leaders and the committee will present an overview of DWP Reform proposals and the issues involved. The public will then have an extended opportunity either to make a brief public comment or to ask a question of the panel. With the question component, the hearing will become an interactive dialog.
An additional DWP Reform hearing is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, May 18 at a location to be determined. It will serve the Mid-City, South LA and Harbor regions. Lonella (Joy) Enix, Chair of the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (SLAANC), will join the councilmembers in welcoming public participation at that Rules committee meeting.
More Neighborhood Councils are filing Community Impact Statements on the DWP Reform proposal (Council File 16-0093). Please place the item on your next agenda so that you can be a part of this process. Individual opinions are also welcomed and encouraged.
Please send your questions and comments to dwpmou@EmpowerLA.org. DWP Reform information will be posted regularly at http://empowerla.org/dwpmou. There is additional information at http://dwpreform.lacity.org.
Tony Wilkinson is the Chair of the Neighborhood Council – DWP MOU Oversight Committee. He will be contributing information on the DWP Reform process to the EmpowerLA newsletter each week.
Should the DWP be overhauled ? Who should run the DWP ? How should rates be maintained / increased ? How should the DWP hire employees, manage outside contracts? What is the role of the Ratepayer Advocate ? Should the transfer of DWP funds to the City’s General Fund be changed? What should we recommend for low income residents, our parks ? What other reform ? These are just a few of the items to discuss. We want to hear from stakeholders.