Coalition Scores a $58.6 Million Victory for Glendale Residents Against the City of Glendale
On January 27, 2017, The Glendale Coalition for Better Government, a non profit organization of residents and business owners, scored a $58.6 million Judgment for the benefit of Glendale residents against the City of Glendale. After litigating against the City for almost three years and conducting an extended trial on the merits, the court ruled in favor of the Coalition on all its claims of wrongdoing against the city of Glendale.
Despite the repeated denial of wrongdoing by City management over the past three years, Los Angeles Superior court judge Honorable James C. Chalfant has ruled:
- The City of Glendale’s rate increase adopted August 13, 2013 VIOLATED article XIII C of the California Constitution (Proposition 26).
- The City of Glendale has a DUTY TO COMPLY with the City Charter, article XI, Section 17, 20 and 22.
- The City is ENJOINED from applying the electric rates adopted on August 13, 2013 in the future based upon the annual transfer required by Glendale City Charter section 22 of article XI without submitting to a vote of the electorate.
- Within 60 DAYS of entry of Judgment, the City SHALL begin to apply credits of $56,949,600 plus interest to the electric portion of the utility bills of active customers.
- PEREMPTORY WRIT OF MANDATE is issued for the return of monies transferred from the Waterworks in the amount of $1,733,333.35
In initiating its lawsuit on February 25, 2014, the Coalition accused the city of Glendale of illegally siphoning off Glendale Water & Power (GWP) revenues to pay for things unconnected with supplying ratepayers with electricity or water. The City in doing so had ignored critical infrastructure needs of the utility. The City conducted illegal transfers of funds to fund and maintain lavish and unsustainable benefits and retirement to city employees at the expense of Glendale Utility payers. The Coalition had accused the city of imposing an illegal backdoor taxes on Glendale residents to the detriment of local businesses and residents.
For years Glendale has been transferring funds from its utility GWP in violation of the Law. Those transfers were nothing but an illegal back door tax imposed on all Glendale citizens without citizens right to vote on these taxes. Glendale business owners and residents have gone before the city council on numerous occasions and have voiced these serious concerns and were ignored. In fact Glendale citizens were told by then Mayor of Glendale, Dave Weaver,
We’ve been over this before, if you don’t like it — sue.
With that challenge by the then mayor and the clear understanding that the City Council will do nothing to remedy their violations of the law, the Coalition initiated this lawsuit on February 25, 2014 and persevered for the past three years.
Despite ridicule from politicians such as Mr. Ara “James” Najarian, up for re-election this April 2017, the Coalition, with the support of Glendale Citizens and the tireless efforts of its members and Board of Directors worked hard to remedy this wrong.
The Glendale Coalition for Better Government, is a non profit organization of residents and business owners who advocate for sustainable responsible and transparent Glendale City Government. The Coalition will continue to defend the rights of Glendale citizens through legal challenges such as this and other currently pending legal challenges. The Coalition is determined to defend Glendale citizen’s rights through any appeals the city may file to this victory.