LADWP to roll out its idea of a ratepayer advocate next week

The Los Angeles City Council heard about a new budget from the LA Department of Water and Power today [TUE]. The utility proposes to cut expenses while expanding maintenance and upkeep projects - and to increase customer rates to do it.

Acting DWP chief Austin Beutner also told the city council that the utility will next week recommend what a ratepayer advocate – or advocates – should be. "A group of folks with enough information and experience to research the issues at hand, the tools at their disposal to communicate those to the community. And accountable to all of the different constituencies: council, the commission, the public at large, ratepayers of all sorts."

City and water and power officials have discussed whether to employ an independent advocate who would assess decisions that affect Angelenos' rates. The position's responsibilities and location in LA city government are still up for debate. Beutner will finish presenting long term plans for the DWP next week.