City of Los Angeles city council members appear to be nothing more than double talkers. Especially when it comes to negotiations with the Department of Water and Power (DWP). As the cities mayoral race was in full swing last year, contract negotiations drew near with DWP employees. Mayor Eric Garcetti, then councilman, should have been all too familiar with negotiations but appeared dazed and confused once elected. Lets go back down memory lane shall we…After having ascended the mayoral throne, Eric Garcetti got knee-deep in the DWP contract intricacies. Negotiations were handled by the City Council’s Executive Employee Relations Committee: Garcetti, Herb Wesson, Mitch Englander, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz.
Related document: IBEW LOCAL 18/LADWP JOINT SAFETY INSTITUTE November 17, 2013
IBEW union boss Brian d’Arcy was very public in his demands for a speedy negotiation and then council president Herb Wesson stepped in and shut his pie hole.
Related article: LA City Council President: No DWP deal by Friday (August 7, 2013)
The day after KPCC ran the above article, the Los Angeles Times reported Wesson wanted a contract in place by September 1st.
Related article: L.A. Council President Herb Wesson wants DWP deal by Sept. 1 (Aug 8, 2013)
Once Eric Garcetti got added into the negotiation mix, reports began to surface about two nonprofits created by DWP, although L.A. Weekly began questioning the accounts shortly after James Hahn left the mayor’s office, after serving only one term. Reports indicate City Hall East will be named after Hahn after enough funds are raised.
Related article: Joseph F. Mailander writes scathing book on Eric Garcetti
By October there was still no contract and the city was up in arms over the $40 million collected over the last ten years by DWP to fund their two “training” accounts. Then the hammer dropped. Council wanted an audit of the training accounts.
Related article: DWP board requests audit of union-linked nonprofits
Contract negotiations would then become finalized in December 2013 and the mystery behind the two accounts in question remain.
Related article: Deal between L.A., DWP workers finalized despite new union challenge
New city controller Ron Galperin announced he was withholding the 2014 $4 million dollar annual payment because the city charter allows him to hold questionable payments. The real question becomes why didn’t former controller Wendy Greuel find the payments questionable? That’s right, she thought she was the next mayor.