Politics, government and public life for Southern California

City Hall prepares for public hearing on DWP contract

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

L.A. City Councilmen Paul Krekorian, above, and Feliipe Fuentes will co-chair a public hearing on the DWP's new labor agreement proposal.

The Los Angeles City Council is preparing this week for a public hearing on a labor agreement that will carry the Department of Water and Power through 2017. 

Council President Herb Wesson announced last week that the Budget and Finance Committee would hold a joint session with the Energy and Environment Committee to vet a contract for more than 8,200 DWP employees.

The current agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18 does not expire until next year, but members are expected to receive a cost-of-living adjustment on Oct. 1. That pay increase could be as much as four percent. City leaders are hoping a new agreement may push those raises to 2016. 

"Given the fact that the pay increase is coming down the pipe quickly, I think it's important that we act in time to be able to preserve the option of postponing or avoiding that pay increase," said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of Budget and Finance. 

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State audit: Counties spent $22M on voting machines that couldn't be used

Audio voting machine, Los Angeles County

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Audio voting machines like this help voters who have poor vision, or who have difficulty reading a ballot or operating the ballot marking systems. It speaks the ballot, choices are entered using the yellow buttons, and the printer puts out a marked ballot slip.

A California state audit released Thursday found that counties spent $22 million on voting machines that could not be fully used — and that about $13 million alone was spent by Riverside County, an early adopter of new voting technology.

Most counties have exhausted the funds allocated for the voting technologies, with the exception of Los Angeles County.

The California Auditor's report also said that Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office was not efficient in overseeing how millions of federal dollars were spent on those voting systems.

Los Angeles County was found to have spent $1.2 million on machines that couldn't be fully used, but it still hasn't spent about $20.6 million. L.A. is in the midst of designing its own voting system and plans to use the funds to pay for it.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: transparency at City Hall, storm-water pollution liabilities, LAUSD superintendent's annual address

Garcetti Inauguration

Mae Ryan/KPCC

L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson wants to bring private labor talks into the open with public hearings. Separately, the LA Weekly reports its request for general managers' memos was denied.

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

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Friday, Aug. 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to make the city's general managers reapply for their jobs and submit detailed memos on the state of their departments -- and the whole process was suppose to be open to the public. But when the LA Weekly tried to get copies of those memos, the paper was denied. "We are conducting a real process. This process isn't about putting on a show... This is a real, sober and serious analysis," the mayor's spokesman said.

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DWP contract talks will come out from behind closed doors

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson sent a letter Thursday to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the union representing DWP workers, telling them he plans to hold public hearings on labor negotiations.

In an unusual move, the president of the Los Angeles City Council took steps Thursday to move private contract negotiations with the Department of Water and Power's powerful union into the public sphere. 

Council President Herb Wesson sent a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and Brian d'Arcy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, announcing plans to hold public hearings on a proposed contract for more than 8,200 DWP employees.

The union's current contract does not expire until fall of 2014, but city leaders hope to have a deal in place by the end of September that would delay pay raises in the current contract that would take effect on Oct. 1. Adding to the time crunch is a lawsuit between the city and utility's two pension funds; the proposed contract would settle that case. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: LA's failed streets, pay day for Santa Ana city manager, a push for non-partisan presidential primaries

LA Mayor And Sen. Boxer Hold News Conference Asking Congress To Pass Legislation Funding Road Projects

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council is getting ready to heard debate on a $3 billion bond proposal that would fix the city's failed streets. The current policy is not to repair a street once it has reached the F grade.

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

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, Aug. 8, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

A proposed $3 billion bond to fix Los Angeles' failing streets is making its way through City Hall, according to the Daily News. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to look at 26 different items that would be a part of the program.

The new city manager of Santa Ana will be one of the highest paid public employees in California, reports the Los Angeles Times. David Cavazos will receive a total compensation package worth $558,625 in his first year of employment.

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