Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP union blocks release of salaries, Villaraigosa leaves money for raises, gloves come off in CD 13 race

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The average salary for a DWP employee in 2011 was $100,000, according to analysis by the Los Angeles Times. The utility's main union is blocking the release of more current numbers.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, May 2, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles Times does a deep dive on the salaries of Department of Water and Power employees and finds folks there make an average of $100,000 in 2011. DWP workers make significantly more than staff at a dozen comparable utilities. The Times requested data on what DWP employees made last year and "after multiple delays, DWP officials were poised to provide the information Wednesday — three weeks before the election. But union officials notified the city attorney's office that they would seek a court order indefinitely delaying the release."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa doesn't want to give city workers promised 5.5 percent raises in January but his budget set aside $21 million in a reserve account to cover the pay increases, reports the Los Angeles Times. "It's clear that the city understands its obligation to the workers because that obligation is included in the budget," said SEIU Local 721's Julie Butcher.

Candidates running for the Los Angeles City Council's Thirteenth District -- John Choi and Mitch O'Farrell -- are bickering over each other's resumes, reports the LA Weekly. The O'Farrell camp says Choi is hiding the fact that he worked for disgraced former Councilman Martin Ludlow. "I don't see Mitch listing his stint as a dancer on cruise ships or managing a juice shop on his resume," Choi's consultant told the Weekly.

Working Californians released a new TV spot highlighting President Bill Clinton's support for Wendy Greuel, reports KPCC.


Wendy Greuel will talk about her plans for transportation and gridlock at 9 a.m. on the roof of the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

Magic Johnson and other leaders in the business community will discuss their support for Wendy Greuel at Staples Center at 10:30 a.m.

City Council candidates Gil Cedillo and John Choi will be at Shatto Recreation Center at 11 a.m. to talk about their visions for CDs 1 and 13.

Eric Garcetti will discuss DWP salaries at his campaign headquarters at 11:30 a.m.

Former L.A. City Councilwoman Roz Wyman will receive the Rose Award from the Los Angeles Parks Foundation at 12:45 p.m.


10 a.m. Budget and Finance Committee, City Hall, Council Chamber

  • Budget hearings continue for the third day


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