Index
Saturday
Aug172013

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, city council hearing, proposed DWP contract: "L.A. council members laud DWP contract proposal scorned by Garcetti"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. council members laud DWP contract proposal scorned by Garcetti" - "The pact would delay pay raises and rein in pension costs but keep a provision allowing higher wages when contractors are used. It's about 'progress, not perfection,' says one city official." - From the LAT:

One day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would not sign a proposed salary agreement with union employees at the Department of Water and Power, City Council members praised the deal while voicing fears of a strike if the talks fall apart.

During a four-hour hearing, DWP executives and the council's top advisors gave a forceful defense of the proposed pact with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, saying it would keep a lid on pay raises until 2016 while making strides in addressing the utility's retirement costs. "This proposal is about progress, not perfection," said City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, who reports to both Garcetti and the council.

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Garcetti said Thursday he wants more in the deal that would allow the city to change work rules, including a provision that grants DWP employees higher wages when private contractors are hired by the utility. He is set to meet Saturday with council President Herb Wesson to discuss the agreement.

The mayor remains the only elected official at City Hall to criticize the agreement with the DWP union, which waged a fierce campaign against him during this year's election...................

***ALSO:

* Daily News:  "DWP work rules, overtime studied"

Friday
Aug162013

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles World Airports, bid protest, LAX advertising contract award: "Conflict-of-interest allegations jeopardize bids on LAX contract".... 

***Following up on earlier items noted here (LAX advertising contract, questions regarding bidding process, challenge to recommended contract award to JCDecaux)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Conflict-of-interest allegations jeopardize bids on LAX contract" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles officials will consider throwing out all bids submitted for a lucrative media contract at LAX due to conflict-of-interest allegations involving a former airport commission president whose firm is vying for the work. The possibility of canceling the bids and starting over stems from a formal protest by Clear Channel Airports, which brought the accusations against Alan Rothenberg, a prominent investment banker and chairman of Premier Partnerships.

Rothenberg's company has joined JC Decaux Airport Inc. and Time Warner in a bid to handle indoor advertising, sponsorships and other media opportunities to promote Los Angeles International Airport, the nation's third busiest. Airport staff recommended the joint venture for the contract, which could provide up to $350 million in revenue by the end of 2020 for Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX. Clear Channel, the runner up, lodged a bid protest.

The Board of Airport Commissioners postponed approval of the contract in June until the city attorney could review the allegations and make recommendations on how to proceed. Commissioners are scheduled to take up the matter again at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Because of the potential risk to airport revenue if Clear Channel prevailed in court, airport staff “reluctantly” concluded that rejecting all proposals is the appropriate course for the board to take, according to a board report. Staff estimated that the revenue loss could be as high as $15 million, compared with $3 million if the bidding process were restarted.

The city attorney's office, which discussed the matter with commissioners in closed session Aug. 6, determined that the airport department faced significant exposure to a lawsuit if the contract was awarded to JC Decaux.

Clear Channel alleges that Rothenberg has a conflict of interest under the city's government code because he participated in discussions and worked on plans related to the media contract before he left as a commissioner..................

Friday
Aug162013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: California high-speed rail project, court ruling, bullet train funding plan not in compliance with requirements of initiative approved by voters: "Bullet train funding at odds with state law, judge rules""....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Bullet train funding at odds with state law, judge rules" - From the LAT:

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled the funding plan for California’s bullet train failed to comply with state law but stopped short of immediately disrupting appropriations. In a closely watched case, Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled that state officials failed to meet a voter-approved requirement that all the funds needed for the first segment be identified.

A 2008 ballot measure approving state money for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed train "required the Authority to identify sources of funds that were more than merely theoretically possible, but instead were reasonably expected to be actually available when needed."

The approved business plan for the $68-billion project acknowledges all of the funds needed to complete the initial operating segment of the system through the Central Valley have not been identified, Kenny ruled. Officials have billions to begin construction between Merced and Fresno. But they have not secured funds to complete the entire first segment of the system and make it operational. 

The plan "demonstrates that the funding plan failed to comply with the statute, because it simply did not identify funds available for the completion of the entire" first operating segment, Kenny said. In addition, Kenny found that the state failed to complete all of the environmental reviews that would be required for an operational segment of the bullet train system.

However, Kenny said he was not prepared to invalidate state appropriations made for the project................

***ALSO:

* Sacramento Bee (AP):  "Judge: Calif. high-speed rail violates initiative"

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Big setback for California high-speed rail project"

Friday
Aug162013

L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor Eric Garcetti, appointment of Sylvia Patsaouras to Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners....

***Council Referrals, August 14, 2013 + Report:  Mayor Eric Garcetti recommendation, appointment of Sylvia Patsaouras to Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.

Friday
Aug162013

L.A. CITY HALL: More info/details, Mayor Eric Garcetti, appointees, Los Angeles Board of Water & Power Commissioners: "Mayor Garcetti moves to 'shake up' DWP with four new board members"....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Garcetti appointees, Los Angeles Board of Water & Power Commissioners)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Mayor Garcetti moves to 'shake up' DWP with four new board members" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday named four new members to the influential panel that oversees the Department of Water and Power, sweeping out all but one of the members who were chosen by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Garcetti nominated former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine, attorney William Funderburk, foundation director Michael Fleming and political consultant Jill Banks Barad to the DWP commission. The four will join Christina Noonan, who was appointed to the panel three years ago. “These accomplished Angelenos will help me shake up the status quo at the DWP so we can save money for ratepayers," Garcetti said in a statement.

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The City Council must confirm each nominee. Garcetti's new appointees will replace four Villaraigosa appointees on the commission: Thomas Sayles, Jonathan Parfrey, Richard Moss and Eric Holoman..............