VOICES - The LADWP November, 2011 "notice" to ratepayers regarding proposed increases is an appalling and intentional failure to communicate. Ratepayers may oppose or accept the rate increases (if they can figure out what they are), but all Los Angeles citizens should demand that our government communicate with well-organized straightforward language.
Please consider protesting the proposed rate changes on the basis of a failure to disclose the proposed changes.
Protests must be received by the City Clerk before January 25th - no email submissions are being accepted.
The letter I sent follows, but a simple signed "I/we protest the LADWP Water Rate Ordinance Modifications because the notice of the proposed changes is incomprehensible," mailed to the City Clerk, is a sufficient communication for protest purposes.
December 1, 2011
200 N. Spring Street, Room 395
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Subject: Protest of LADWP Water Rate Ordinance Modifications
I protest the proposed water rate ordinance modifications based on the fact that the notice on this matter dated November 2011 is worded in language incomprehensible to the ratepayer.
To quote from the notice:
"...change a cap on the LADWP quarterly drinking water quality cost factor included in the LADWP water rates and increase a cumulative cap on the combination of the drinking water quality costs and other periodic adjustment factors to enable the drinking water quality rate adjustment factor to be increased..."
"ordinance modifications will include: (1) The cap of $0.06 per billing unit for quarterly increases of the Water Quality Factor under General Provision G will be removed from the Water Rate Ordinance. (2) The Adjustment Factor Limitations of General Provision J will be increased..."
"...if a City Council resolution or ordinance changes the level of limitation in General Provision J, substituting only the increased level of limitation, LADWP may recalculate the existing affected Adjustment Factors..."
"(3) The high season Second Tier base rates of Schedules A, B and C, which each have an embedded Water Quality Improvement Adjustment..."
Nowhere in the notice are the above underlined terms defined. Nowhere in the notice is the basic rate structure defined so that the proposed changes could be comprehended. Nowhere in the notice is there a plain language description of what the proposed changes will mean to LADWP water consumers.
The federal government, through the passage of the 2010 Plain Language Act (HR 946), is required to communicate with the public in clear, concise, well-organized language. I demand no less of the City of Los Angeles.
(Sue Castillo is a Los Angeles citizen and a DWP ratepayer. She lives in San Pedro.) -cw
Tags: DWP, LADWP, water rates, water rate increases, DWP notice, notice to ratepayers, Water Rate Ordinance Modifications
Vol 9 Issue 96
Pub: Dec 2, 2011