An email from Daily News' Kerry Cavanaugh regarding DWP's 5-year, billion dollar "Power Relaibility" upgrade program sent a few emails into ZD's email inbox.
Here's how it all went down. The original email from Kerry to Soledad S. Garcia, Vice Chair of Neighborhood Council & Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Oversight Committee (an Assembly of Elected Neighborhood Council) that sent a few more emails from concerned citizens into ZAP (Zuma's Activist Plan) Headquarters inbox. (Thanks to the "heads up" ZAPPERs who sent along all the feedback!)
On Thu, 31 May 2007 Kerry Cavanaugh writes...
I'm a reporter with the LA Daily News and I'm writing about the DWP's Power Reliability Program, a $1 billion, 5-year plan to upgrade the power system.
Have you heard about this? What do you think about this effort?
Daily News Staff Writer
From: Soledad Garcia
To: Kerry Cavanaugh
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 12:29:57 -0700
Subject: Re: DWP power
Yes, the plan is for more than a $billion for 40 -70 years of deferred maintenance. The City of Los Angeles deserves to have the power system continuously upgraded. We have many years of wear that require newer replacements to meet the impact of greater demands and withstand emergencies.
On May 29, 2007, the DWP staff presented a modified power point 07-08 Budget review. Included in that review was the projected O/M and Capital costs for power reliability/infrastructure.
Although LADWP has 416 pages power point budget information on the Department's website, I did only selective reading. Power Reliability is in the 6th Part of the PPT. The Budget as presented there is complex, bulky and requires two Ph.D. degrees in accounting. A simplified presentation of monies in, monies out would allow some of us non CPA or Audit Specialists to read and understand better.
There will be additional Outreach by DWP on the Budget throughout the City and to the Oversight Committee and Congress, after the June 5th DWP Board of Commissioners' approval.
Soledad S. Garcia
Fr: Daniel Wiseman
Soledad & Kerry....
As Soledad did, I have just reviewed the several hundred "pictures" offered by the DWP as its public presentation of its FY2007-2008 Budget.
The biggest fault is that it is just pictures and not an itemized and indexed budget.
The second most obvious deficiency is the COMPLETE absence of numbers as to the present and proposed rates for water, electricity, sewers/garbage-collection and TAXES. These make up the bill each household and each commercial building receives as their L.A. Municipal Services bill every two months.
The NC-DWP MOU was created because of a general public concern for an hastily announced and very large increase in water rates. The DWP has submerged its intentions and proposals for rate increases in its last several budgets ... and this one is no exception.
The NC-DWP MOU2 which was just put into effect requires that thorough informed consent is provided in adequate time for the NCs to consider major changes ... that includes "trunk-line" plans and rate changes.
The first item on the DWPs FY2007-2008 plan is to "work with NCs to provide better public understanding and compliance with rate changes."
Effective steps for the DWP to carry out this goal is
not in evidence, yet.
It is now time for:
1. TRANSPARENCY in the process of DWP decisions … on what data and with what logic do they base their recommendations.
2. SPECIFICS as to the effects of DWP decisions on their customers … what new services?, what improved methods?, what specific Operations & Maintenance Costs (separated from the costs of DWP Administration and
working staff which is over 70% of total expenditures)? … and, most of all, what will it cost us? (rates to the consumer).
3. CONSISTENT INTEGRITY to stick to their promises and explain BOTH achievements and deficiencies of the delivery of their services.
Doesn’t the Los Angeles Citizen deserve to be treated in this way?
Isn’t it the “job” of the NCs to point out when we are treated well and when we are not?
Having said this about DWP – what about the “other” 44 City Departments?
This is my response to Kerry Cavanaugh and my hope that more NC Activists and … Saints preserve us … some L.A. City Councilmembers will get involved, too.
Re: Follow up to Dr. Wiseman,
“After the June 5th DWP Board of Commissioners' approval.”
I think this is the key sentence in this exchange. June 5th is this Tuesday.
It would appear that the DWP Board see's this budget approval, as a fait accompli, and are not too motivated to include the community, as represenated by, individual NC's or lanccongress, or e-correspondents, as, much of an area of concern.
With little real board or stakeholder involvement within their communities concerning educating their stakeholders in areas of water & power, and evolving educating on energy/conservation in the schools, particularly highs and colleges, and other aspects like local/global control of CO2, and managing renewable energy sources, gasless transportation, or ,substantially, improving the overall Energy and Water infrastructure, it should be no surprise that DWP pays little more, then lip service, to us all.
I suspect, they see any failure to get the rate increases, they choose to justify, as having the impact of delaying, or replacing most all, but; the most critical of the current service network, and paying for the PR to placate their rate payers, and setting aside the Dollars needed to be passed along to placate the government's elected reps, personal; and political concerns.
When, they sent their representatives to the local NC meeting, more then a few years or so ago, after the NC DWP MOU signing, they were mainly interested in how the community might help them use non-potable water, to water adopted 'on ramps' , and golf courses. The DWP reps got time off, to come to NC meetings.
There were few NC stakeholders or board members there that were even interested in that. And, that, was just a exploratory meeting with no follow up to my knowledge; no stakeholder committee, beyond a now out of office NC Board VP, for instance, to follow up, even on that.
I proposed, as a stakeholder, more then 5 years ago, pulling together and articulating training both academic and skills, programs in the new school(s), making it well known to the councilman's office, and family NC's, lanccongress & to the LAUSD OUTREACH & DISTRICT & new school committee building the new high schools in the area, and making it known to the wife of the now, President of the local Community college, and the Mayor of the Community surrounded by LA schools. I followed through any and everywhere I could, spent $2,000 to meet people from across the country making it happen, and continue to make contact with them.( and endorse them>)( They are doing it.!!!!!!!!!)
I offered contacts with organizations prepared to help with this, who, have proven track records of achieving the vision, I was encouraging; and, had received part of the proposal, from a Director of the Tom Bradley legacy FUND 503c1, who, was offering $25K seed money to get the ball rolling.
I went so far as to offer to pass along these contacts to a new high school to be open with Environmentalism, as a theme, only to be rebuffed by its, Principal.
We talked to the local council person, at the time, now a Senator, and the Senator he replaced, who was supportive; and of lso, adding into a new school to a fire academy training program to be co-located next to a new fire station and a new fire personnel training facility.
I researched and found LAUSD had used, that, as an example; when, proposing the school, but they have all been disbursed to other assignments, without leaving a forwarding address, or referrals, to, those who replace them.
No matter with LAUSD, it is common practice to ignore any comments, but their own, and to forget promises made, to get what they want.
They hold their monopoly power close, to them and the union.
I passed this along to LAUSD Reps at the level of my contact. We proposed articulating a environmental academy at the high school, and college; and at the Lopez Canyon land fill , (tied to Renew LA, Sunshine Canyon closing and of the land fill across from DWP facility, to be redone as a High by Poly High.) Articulating coursework to create career paths, through to Emerging Environmental Economics at CSUN.
Tony Cardenas has considered a variety of options, across from Poly and DWP, I am unaware, or can't remember, the latest.
While, I got positive response, I heard in the past 3 days, that, without any significant, as far as I have heard, community input; the current Council person. alarcon, intends to use the Lopez Canyon site for an extended pocket park.
While, at the same time moneys that were commonly expected and arranged, to help complete the children's museum, as envisioned by the last council person, are, now in dispute with it 1/2 completed lacking funds to be fully completed, I have heard.
This with NC's, that endorsed the Children's Museum, recanting on details of the dollars, to be used from LOPEZ Canyon funds.
I, further, had asked the current Council persons office, to cross political boundaries to coordinate a more hope-ful and complete program for the homeless by endorsing the opening Of Union Rescue Mission Hope Gardens ( with an already invested $7 million sitting in limbo, a million dollars in legal costs already having had to be committed, to get what they had been promised----and are, now, being played with by county planning, and Commisioner Antonovich's & the Suprevisor's offices, that, the old City Council office, Padilla's office, was well aware of, and had coordinated with, on this, when they ( Union Rescue) were paying to do "due diligence."
And, I was, asking before ,he was elected, if, he, the new council person, could assist in coordinating improvements in the Temporary services offered under contract by the County Dept of Homeless on Arroyo ( spitting distance from Hope Gardens), by looking into, & intervening to make better use of, all, of these funds.
His rep, said, Essentially, "send it through the NC's, and, we might listen", but "county city boundaries c/would be a stumbling block."
I was using the Tony Cardena's Ad Hoc Gang Commitee kick off meeting, where; they had everyone crossing, all barriers on the way to multi- millions to billions to fight gangs in LA, as an example, of getting things done across boundaries.
While, at the same time, I was suggesting more & better coordinated city, and LAUSD entrepreneurial, and skills training might alleviate both problems, gangs, and education and skills training.
We had a charter school, aleady, ready, to go into Hope Gardens to take kids, who,. are now in unsafe trailers and conditions on 3rd street, that, we wanted to put in charter classrooms in this bucolic setting, with teachers, from an ackowledged California Distinguished School , prepared to teach them.
We wanted them to be able to take field trips to the "Childrens Museum's Environmentally Themed Museum, use the Green Library next door, and, later, to become docents and serve as mentors, and; to carry that theme through their high school and college skills educations, working with 21st and 22nd waste mangement practices, at these locationsl and with Renew LA as "living" labs." in a practical emerging environmentalism future.
But, the new council person, heard, non of this from the old, and; is announcing a extension of a existing pocket park,up the hill to the topped off land fill, rather; then, any overt education program and facility on environmentalism, as, we had envisioned and discussed.
No one in the community, to my knowledge, was even asked about his plan, for parks but I was told by Waste Mangement personnel, he had family working it when it was open so he feels comfortable with its' history .
Till, all these entities, start really working together effectively and effeciently, rather, then ad hoc'edly, I suspect; we are going to see 'less then' effective planning, and actions to carry us into a fully coordinated future, successfully, and less expensively.
We will always be playing 'catch up' with 'under- budgeted' efforts, pre approved by Commissions.
WHEN, WILL WE LEARN ?????????????????????????
Mistakes are opportunities to learn, and e mails are just to placate ourselves, lip service is come by, putting yourself in their presence MOMENTARILY, but PROMISES ARE quickly forgotten.