Water Crisis in the Shadow of Pension Reform
Recently, it was reported a water main had ruptured flooding Sunset Boulevard and the UCLA campus. The questions Glendale residents should also be asking can this happen in the “Jewel City”?
Glendale, like Los Angeles, is years behind in maintaining its Water and Power infrastructure … but also streets and sidewalks.
I recall, one evening a few years ago, a concerned citizen presented a Power Point presentation at City Hall showing about a dozen streets where the water lines were anywhere from 80-90 years old. One seasoned council member could not believe that one of the aged water lines was located where he resided. Again, that year, council transferred millions of dollars out of GWP to the General Fund to help pay for our union workforce. The following year GWP customers saw additional utility rate increases.
Infrastructure maintenance is not glamorous and rarely would we see city officials bragging they brought forward a new water line or street repair proposal. But, they would be ready to do a photo-op at a new retail store, museum, etc.
Our public officials too often put off infrastructure maintenance because of the budget demands of other programs and the growing cost of public employee compensation.
For years our city council has been reducing the capital improvement funds in order to pay our bloated CALPERS city employees unfunded salaries and pension obligations.
Last week’s disaster at UCLA is a good reminder about the dangers lurking out of sight must not be out of mind.