Details about the watchdog office for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are emerging from hearings at the Los Angeles City Council.
In March, Angelenos approved the idea of an Office of Public Accountability for the publicly-owned utility. Now the L.A. City Council has started talking about the substance behind that vote.
At the most recent meeting of the council’s Energy and Environment Committee, councilmembers approved recommendations about the citizen's committee – the people who will select a ratepayer advocate. City council members approved a five-member committee, with at least one neighborhood council representative in that number.
The mayor and the council president would each choose two citizens, and the council Energy and Environment Committee chair would select the final member. Citizens committee candidates can't be city or DWP managers.
All these rules need approval from the full city council. The Energy and Environment Committee didn't decide on qualifications for the executive director and the ratepayer advocate who’d lead the million-dollar office yet. In a few weeks, a hearing on that subject will be the next step before the full council considers the ordinances to make the Office of Public Accountability real.