Open Letter of an Enraged Citizen Regarding the Recently Approved GWP Rate Increase
I watched the recording of the August 6th debacle. Unbelievable that almost 100% of the speakers were opposed to the rate increase as designed by GWP. The one bit disappointment was the speaker for the Realtors, Ira Bland. His presentation was certainly in opposition to the comments by the Real Estate broker who attended our meeting a couple of weeks ago. I sure would like to see a poll of “All” the Realtors in Glendale to see if they agree with Mr. Bland’s presentation. If you have his name and contact info, I would appreciate it if you would pass this on to him.
As it turns out, Ara Najarian completely gave up on any compromise rate increase. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be comical to consider Mr. Ochoa’s comments that if the rate increase is NOT approved; the GWP would become insolvent and would probably have to be sold. Wow! If that happened, how would the city get funding for the excessive salaries and pensions which he and the council completely ignore.
What is really disturbing is how little regard the city council and city manager have for the rate payers and public who took their time to come to the August 6th meeting and plead that the council consider THEM and not the sales pitch that Mr. Ochoa always so eloquently presents.
I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Ochoa will not debate any member of the public who presents views and FACTS that do not agree with his manipulation of the real financial figures. The way to save the GWP is to totally stop the illegal transfers according to the charter, and then the GWP would be able to survive without a rate increase. Of course, Mr. Ochoa’s and the council’s comeback is that libraries would have to be closed, parks could no longer be maintained, and police and fire personnel would have to be terminated.
If we could get an honest evaluation of the “entire” city staff, we would probably be amazed on how many middle management personnel could be terminated. Of course, it is highly unlikely that any kind of “honest” response from the city manager and city council is forthcoming. I would like to review the actual figures I have from city documentation with Mr. Ochoa, but he chose to call my concerns about the National Night Out issues as a conspiracy, and refused to discuss with me the facts that I wanted clarified.
I went to the July 30, 2013 council meeting to put into public record that the cost of the Smart Meter/Smart Grid System that Aram Kazazian presented a week earlier were actually taken from my compilation of the overall funding already approved by the city council in the amount of $72 million.
While I was making my presentation about my disappointment in the council’s action to delay the GWP Rate Design presentation originally schedule 3 weeks earlier, Mr. Ochoa went up to the Mayor and the other council members to state that I was starting a conspiracy rumor that the council and himself were trying to hide the facts of the rate increase. That wasn’t it at all, and the mayor and other members of the council along with Mr. Ochoa took considerable time to repeatedly state how the GWP went out of their way to present their facts of the rate design to the public.
I never had an argument that we didn’t have the facts. We did, and that is why so many of us organized to dispute them. This is a typical reaction from a city council and manager that continually disparage speakers after they speak when they can no longer defend their comments. This is truly a sad evolvement of where our city has come to its leadership. They cannot discuss facts, just ridicule the public who takes time to come to city council meetings and voice their concerns.
You are asking our group as to what steps we need to take now that the City Council has completely disregarded the pleas of the rate payers and residents of Glendale and chose to pass the rate increase which negatively affects so many of the residents who look to their city leadership to support them. Since they do not consider themselves as our employees, there is only one option that we have. That is “RECALL” of those who voted for the rate increase. Since an election is already necessary to replace the seat vacated my Mr. Manoukian, it would cost no more for a city election to replace the three council persons who supported the increase. From the reaction that I am seeing about this whole rate increase scenario, I do believe that a RECALL would be supported by the voters. Our group, and others, will have to join forces to bring this about, but it seems to be our only alternative to stop the lack of financial oversight that this council and the city manager have. If a recall is successful, and along with the election of a council member to fill Mr. Manoukian’s seat, we would essentially have a totally new city council, which is probably the most beneficial thing that could happen to the City of Glendale.