Glendale residents will be receiving a refund / credit on their water bill.
In January of 2017, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued rulings in three cases pertaining to Glendale Water & Power rates:
- On January 24th, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a ruling in the Coalition for Better Government’s challenge of the City’s water rates in the matter of Coalition for Better Government v. City of Glendale. The plaintiffs contend that the City’s water rates violate Proposition 218 (an initiative measure passed by the state’s voters in 1996) which requires water rates charged to customers be calculated in a manner to be proportionate to the cost actually incurred by the utility to deliver the water. Although the trial court ruled that the rates do not comply with these requirements, the City believes its water rate plan complies with these mandates and also encourages water conservation. The water rates were designed through a rigorous and detailed cost of services analysis vetted through expert consultants and legal counsel. The City intends to appeal the trial court’s ruling and pending the final outcome, the water rates will remain in effect.
The same court is also hearing elements of the General Fund Transfer case. The General fund pays for most of the traditional local government services that Glendale residents and businesses rely on – police, fire, libraries, parks, and administrative functions. Like most other independent cities, public safety – police and fire/paramedics – make up 2/3 of the General Fund.
Glendale residents will be receiving a refund / credit to their electric bill.
On January 27th, the Los Angeles Superior Court entered a judgment in two lawsuits challenging the City’s transfer of funds from the utility to the City’s general fund (the “GFT”): Coalition for Better Government v. City of Glendale and Saavedra et al. v. City of Glendale. In both lawsuits, the petitioners contend that the transfer from the electric utility to the general fund (GFT) violates Proposition 26 (an initiative measure passed by the state’s voters in 2010). The petitioners also challenge the City’s fund and accounting procedures, contending they violate the City Charter. The Glendale Coalition also alleges that the water GFT violates Proposition 218.
- With respect to the 2013 electric rates, the trial court concluded that although Proposition 26 expressly states it is not retroactive, the City’s imposition of new rates in August of 2013 was a tax because the rate plan included the Charter-required GFT and the court concluded the GFT is not a cost of service. The writ of mandate holds that GWP must credit ratepayers the amount of the GFT since the electric rates increase went into effect in September of 2013. The total credit is $56,950,000 plus interest for FY 2013-14, FY 2014-15, and FY 2015-16. Credits for FY 2017-2018 and subsequent years, if applicable, will accrue at $1,633,916.67 per month until GWP re-designs its rates to exclude GFT or obtains voter approval to include the GFT in the electric rates.
- With respect to the City’s accounting practices, the trial court concluded that specified accounting practices, while compliant with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, violate the City charter. The court enjoined the City from merging some charter mandated funds and splitting up others.
- With respect to the water GFT, the court ruled that transfers made from February to June of 2011 (when the water GFT was discontinued) violated Proposition 218. Therefore, the general fund must return $1,733,333.35 to the water revenue fund.
Recently, the City’s motions for new trial of the two GFT lawsuits were denied by the trial court. A motion for a new trial filed by the Glendale Coalition in its GFT case was also denied. The City intends to appeal all three cases. The City maintains that the GFT, adopted by the voters and which pre-dates adoption of Proposition 26, is not thereby vitiated by Proposition 26. It is anticipated that an appeal will take 18-24 months.
The trial court’s rulings in all three cases are stayed pending appeal. This means that while the appeal is pending, the electric rates and water rates may lawfully continue to be collected based upon the current rate plans, and no credits or refunds are to be issued.
For an earlier report on this, go to http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-transfer-ruling-20160617-story.html
South Korean Sister City, Gimpo
Recently, the City of Glendale has received numerous inquiries from concerned residents around the world regarding the South Korean dog meat industry. The Glendale City Council directed that Glendale representatives reach out directly to representatives of our South Korean Sister City, Gimpo. In conjunction with our local Korean Sister City Association, the City of Glendale is working with Gimpo representatives to better understand South Korean standards, practices and laws, relevant cultural differences, as well as express the Glendale City Council's unqualified protest and disapproval of any inhumane treatment of dogs, cats and other living creatures. Gimpo representatives have assured the City of Glendale that the City of Gimpo has no interest in advocating for or defending any inhumane treatment of animals, and that they will see that all South Korean food service and processing standards, as well as animal treatment laws, are adhered to.
The City of Glendale thanks those individuals who shared their concerns. The City of Glendale will continue to work with our Sister City of Gimpo to ensure the best possible and most practical outcome. Further questions or concerns may be directed to Glendale’s Community Relations Coordinator Dan Bell. He can be reached via email at DBell@GlendaleCA.gov.
The City of Glendale contacted the City of Gimpo in April of 2015 and continues to follow-up with Gimpo's representatives. The City of Gimpo sent a letter in response to our inquiry pending their investigation into the matter. Read the letter here.
The City of Glendale is planning to build a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Verdugo Wash
FALSE. The idea of introducing a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Verdugo Wash is identified in the City’s Bicycle Transportation Plan (adopted in 2012), has been promoted recently by interested citizens. However, the City currently is not engaged in planning or engineering work to build such a path.
IF at some point in the future the City Council directs staff to proceed with the Verdugo Wash Path, the following steps would have to take place in order to determine if the idea is possible:
1. City staff identifies funding for a Feasibility Study.
2. City Council approves proceeding with a Feasibility Study.
3. An RFP (Request for Proposals) would be issued to identify a qualified consultant to conduct the study.
4. A consultant is hired (subject to City Council approval) after successfully completing the entire RFP Process.
5. Public input would be sought during the study period.
IF, the study determines that there is a feasible bicycle and pedestrian bike path alternative that the community agrees with, City Council would have to approve additional funding for future phases including developing a design and conducting the engineering work needed to build the actual path.
None of the above mentioned steps have been taken and there are no immediate plans to proceed with this plan or a feasibility study at this time.
Inquiries into crime statistics and strategies that have been put into place regarding public safety:
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Please click here for the City of Glendale crime statistics and booking reports.
“The Glendale City Council was scheduled to vote on the Scholl Canyon Landfill Environmental Impact Report as early as January 26, 2016, but has postponed the date without reason.”
In early January, the City became aware of a local homeowner’s group newsletter published “…perhaps as early as Tuesday January 26, 2016, the Glendale City Council will be voting to approve the Environmental Impact Report…” It has now been mentioned that the City of Glendale has willfully postponed that date without reason. This is inaccurate information.
The City has not completed the review of the responses to public and agency comments on the EIR, thus it has not been agendized for City Council review. Last year, the City had hoped to bring the EIR forward sometime in early 2016, but has not set a hearing date pending review of the comments and responses to comments. The earliest that we may see the Draft EIR comments come forward is in the Spring or Summer of 2016. That would be the release of comments and, then again, only after the City completes its review. The earliest we could see the discussion of the Draft EIR would be the Fall of 2016.
Get accurate information, timelines, rumor control and future dates regarding the Scholl Canyon Landfill here.
The draft EIR is an informational document that analyzes the environmental impact(s) that may stem from an expansion project – should an expansion be considered. The expansion project analyzed in the draft EIR is designed with the flexibility to transition the landfill into a conversion facility with a landfill component. The draft EIR discusses options such as an expansion, however, the City Council has no plans in place for an expansion. In its current state of operation, if no action were taken, the landfill has a life expectancy of 20+ years. Of all of the conversion technologies that folks want to move toward, only anaerobic digestion is proven and permitted in California – and Glendale is moving there now. The City of Glendale may get to more advanced alternative technologies in the next twenty years, but real-world and practical solutions that bridge today to the future are needed, and so in preparation for the future, the City has set about to analyze the potential environmental impacts of an expansion option in an EIR.
Again, there is no expansion of the landfill being considered by the City Council. The specific objectives are:
-Continue to provide a waste disposal option that has been proven to be environmentally sound and cost effective at the currently permitted rate of 3,400 tons per day.
-Continue waste diversion programs that are critically important for landfill users to achieve state-mandated diversion requirements
-Allow the City to maximize the use of a local resource for waste disposal, thus minimizing hauling distances and related environmental impacts.
-Allow for further development of disposal and diversion options, such as alternative technologies, for landfill users.
For additional information, please go to www.SchollCanyonLandfill.ORG
“Every major American city has hazardous amounts of lead-contaminated water.”
Glendale Water & Power’s water meets all federal, state and local drinking water standards. Our dedicated water quality team constantly tests and monitors the water quality in Glendale’s water system. The situation in Flint, Michigan relates to their local water supply and the materials used in their distribution system. Glendale’s water system does not have any lead service lines and the water supplied by GWP is continuously tested for lead and copper levels.
To view GWP’s water quality reports, please click here.
Rockhaven: Misinformation Corrected
RUMOR: On October 6, Glendale City Council held a closed session with real estate developers Brooks Street and Lab Holdings, LLC, as well as a group of psychiatric professionals from Venice and San Marino to discuss the Rockhaven property.
FACT: On Tuesday, October 6, the Rockhaven property was included as a topic of discussion on the City Council’s closed session agenda. Those present in the closed session – as noted on the posted agenda – were the five members of the City Council and the listed city staff members (as “Agency negotiators attending the closed session”). Contrary to a recent KCET report, however, no other parties, or persons, were present in the closed session.
The Ralph M. Brown Act (California’s local government open meetings law) prohibits city councils from meeting and/or directly negotiating with private parties in closed session. The “negotiating parties” – i.e. the parties the City is in discussions with - must be listed on the closed session agenda, so that the public has an understanding as to with whom the city is negotiating. In closed session related to real property negotiations, the city’s negotiators (in this case, the city staff) provide information to the council and ask for direction on whether and how to proceed with discussions.
The KCET report indicates that the closed session was attended by the negotiating parties representing private interests: 1) Brooks Street and Lab Holdings, LLC; and 2) Drs. Timothy Pylko, Annett Ermshar, Jeff Ball and Terry Krikorian. THIS IS INCORRECT. THESE PARTIES WERE NOT PRESENT, AND WOULD NOT BE PERMTTED IN THE CLOSED SESSION, UNDER STATE LAW. Again, however, the Brown Act requires that they be listed on the agenda, so that the public is aware of to whom the City is speaking.
At the conclusion of the October 6 closed session meeting, no reportable action was taken.
Recently, much controversy has arisen regarding a proposed mixed-use development at 1100 N. Brand Boulevard, with some folks questioning why the City Council would entertain such a project. To be clear, the council has not reviewed or considered the project, and perhaps never will. The process currently underway started when a private property owner applied for approval of a project on their property. After review by staff, a planning hearing officer will hear the proposal and testimony from all interested parties, then deliberate and render a decision in a few weeks.
This decision — whichever way it goes — is appealable to the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council. While the staff report’s recommendation makes the specific findings to allow the requested standards variances, it is obvious that many folks will reasonably disagree. Yet the objective decision-making process, which invites public input and participation, must play itself out — beginning with the planning hearing officer. While the City Council is encouraged by the degree of community engagement on this matter, it cannot and has not intervened at this time. The city’s job in executing its ministerial duties is to balance and respect the rights of all interests under the law.
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? What is Glendale doing during the drought?
The State of California is in the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts ever recorded. During just the last few months, records have been set for the highest temperatures and driest conditions for this time of year. This has prompted Governor Brown to issue several Executive Orders including mandatory conservation provisions. All Californians need to take immediate action to change water usage patterns as we are faced with another record setting drought year.
The Metropolitan Water District is also poised to implement an allocation plan for its members (including the City of Glendale) this summer. As cities and water suppliers throughout the State scramble to respond to these mandates, the City of Glendale has continued to steadily take the appropriate action through programs and policies aimed to specifically reduce the amount of water we use. While there is no question that we must do more in the way of water conservation, Glendale is well ahead of many cities due to the foresight of our City Council and the dedication of our customers to conserve.
In addition to our conservation programs, Glendale Water & Power developed a tiered water rate structure that was approved by the City Council and which took effect on September 1, 2014. This tiered rate structure was designed to ensure fair and equitable rates necessary to maintain the critical infrastructure and administer the ongoing operations of the Water division. GWP consultants studied our rates in their entirety to ensure the continued provision of quality water and quality services to all Glendale Water customers. The tiered rate structure was developed in accordance with the requirements of Proposition 218 ensuring that all charges are based on actual service provision and that no one category of user subsidizes another. The structure covers fixed and variable costs associated with water delivery during normal climatic conditions.
Directly tied to the implementation of the mandatory water conservation measures is a separate drought fee. The drought fee is temporary and only used in these emergency drought situations to keep the utility financially solvent. The drought fee as mentioned goes into effect upon adoption of the mandatory conservation provisions (Phase’s II through V) of the Ordinance. The Glendale City Council declared mandatory water conservation on July 29, 2014 however, in an effort to assist customers, had suspended the drought fee for 6 months.
The purpose of the drought fee is two-fold. First, to recover revenue shortfalls resulting from lower water sales directly related to conservation, and second to promote targeted reductions in water consumption during periods of mandatory conservation. Customers that meet the usage reductions set during each phase of mandatory conservation will generally not see an increase in their water bill. The drought fee is applied equally to all water consumed and is not related to the tier levels.
During this period of prolonged drought, we all need to do our part to ensure that we have the water necessary to sustain our community. We thank all of our residents for their part in helping the State, the Southern California region, and the City of Glendale get through this drought. We look forward to working with our residential and business community to assist with water conservation. In that regard we have many tools and programs to assist our customers to meet our water conservation goals. Please visit www.GlendaleWaterAndPower.com for more information. Every drop counts.No Water Waste Policy
A Century of Roses
The City of Glendale has a long and proud history with the Tournament of Roses. Much of the history is shared in a GTV6 documentary produced by the City staff, A Century of Roses.
In 2010, the Glendale Rose Float Association was in jeopardy of not raising enough funds, which would put the future of the City’s participation at risk. In 2011, the non-profit association that raised funds to design and construct the City’s Rose Float dissolved and the City took over the responsibilities in order to continue the tradition. The City was only a few years from making its 100th appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Even though other cities and organizations were reeling from the recession, at the direction of City Council, Glendale continued efforts to fundraise. The City wanted to preserve the Rose Float as other cities were withdrawing.
Costs associated with the float can range from $100,000 to $150,000 depending on the mechanics, animation, and size. Fundraising by Community Services & Parks staff was to be supplemented with City resources. In the first year, the 2011 goal of raising funds for the 98th Glendale Rose float construction were not only met, but exceeded what was needed. In 2012, $65,000 was raised.
The 2014 float, Glendale’s 100th year, needed to be something on a grander scale. This float utilized hydraulic movement/animation. The 100th float entry for the City of Glendale received an award that featured Meatball the Bear and his wildlife friends.
Interestingly, donations and sponsorships dried up considerably in 2013 for the 2014 Rose float. The 100th float was primarily paid for with City funds. Only $15,000 in donations was collected. The City paid the balance of the $135,000 for the float. The larger corporate donors who participated in 2012 focused their giving on local events and programs like Cruise Night (which has become entirely sponsor funded), and the City received almost nothing from individual giving. Ultimately, when it came time to budget for the 2015 entry, the City opted to not appropriate the resources. It is worth noting that members of City Council, at the time of consideration, requested staff to return with a report this fiscal year to reestablish a community-based non-profit to again undertake Glendale’s Rose Float efforts. 
Timeline of events relating to Rose Float and Council direction:
- In 2011, the City was able to raise $97,000 which covered the full cost of the 2012 float. The cost of the float was discounted that year to $89,000 because the City asked all vendors to provide a discount on all contracts. Thus, funds raised exceeded the cost of the float. (Community donations varied from $25 -$25,000)
- In 2012, $65,000 was raised for the 2013 float – “Living the Good Life!” – 3 Sponsors (Americana $25,000, Adventist $25,000 & Pacific BMW $15,000)
- In 2013, approximately $15,000 was raised for the 2014 float – “Let’s Be Neighbors” - ($10,000 Holland Partners Sponsor, $3700 Donations for Raffle, $1100 Fundraiser Event)
FY 2011-2012 Budget Process – Council appropriated $50,000 for 2012 float with the condition that the City received another $50,000 in donations from community by July 31, 2011. The City surpassed expectations and collected $97,000 for 2012 float.
11/8/2011 – Staff presented various fundraising options for future floats to Council and received direction to return to work with Glendale Rose Float Association (GRFA) to incorporate as non-profit, further study the possibility of self-built floats, and form a committee comprised of community members that would be responsible for selecting the Rose Float design, name, and ridership. (Report attached)
3/6/2012 – Staff presented a report notifying Council that GRFA notified staff in 12/2011 that they decided to disband, provided information regarding self-built floats, and recommended forming a Rose Float Concept/Design Committee, consisting of corporate sponsors and Community Services & Parks staff, to raise funds and select a float design to represent Glendale (since Glendale Adventist Medical Center had come forth as a sponsor). Council directed staff to proceed with corporate sponsorship for 2013 float. $65,000 was raised for the 2013 float.
3/5/2013 – Staff presented a report to Council asking for direction on 2014 float (100th year). Staff recommended and Council approved a two-tier fundraising strategy for the 2014 float since corporate sponsorship came short for the 2013 float. Staff’s goal was to fundraise at least $75,000 (50% of cost of the float). Council approved corporate sponsorship and community donations where a minimum of $25 donation would enter individuals into a drawing for opportunity to ride the Rose Float. Staff also held a fundraising event in partnership with CV Weekly and Lions, Tigers & Bears at Deukmejian Wilderness Park to raise additional funds. Only $15,000 was raised for the 2014 float.
3/17/2014 – A memo was drafted for the 2015 float. Staff sent out corporate sponsor letters to several businesses in the community. Staff did not receive any interest in corporate sponsorships even after follow up phone calls.
06/17/14 – City Council directed the City Manager and staff to bring back a staff report reestablishing a community-based non-profit to again undertake Glendale’s Rose Float efforts, similar to those in other communities this fiscal year.
http://glendale.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=4739 (30:22 minute mark)
At an August 20th press conference, Los Angeles Councilmember Huizar states Glendale is acting unfairly by not allowing Los Angeles to use the City of Glendale’s landfill.
The City of Glendale held a community meeting Thursday, July 31 in Eagle Rock in coordination with LA City Councilmember Huizar’s office to go over the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed expansion of Scholl Canyon Landfill. Glendale has no immediate plans to proceed with any expansion and possibly may not for quite some time, if ever, depending on the success of the City’s aggressive waste management alternatives.
Learn more here.
False. The intent of the City of Glendale's agreement with Crown Castle is to market pre-designated City owned properties in an effort to drive cell tower development away from sensitive areas. This agreement will prevent cell tower providers from choosing locations without regard for the impacts to the community. By identifying non-sensitive locations and making it easier for service providers to develop facilities, the City hopes to eliminate the practice of "just plant it anywhere."
"Glendale is ticketing residents for browning lawns during a drought."
False. The Sacramento Bee incorrectly named the City of Glendale as involved with a Code Enforcement case regarding a browning lawn. The newspaper has since updated the article with the correct name of the city in question. Glendale is not currently issuing citations to residents who have browning lawns but will instead use this time to educate residents and business on how to further conserve water. In the coming week, the Glendale City Council will consider mandating residents reduce their outdoor water usage to 3 days a week, among other changes to reduce water use. Read more about Glendale's conservation efforts on the Glendale Water & Power website. Residents can update landscaping to be more water efficient with the Glendale Water Wise Gardening website.
? "Where can I find more information on the proposed Glendale water rate increase?"
Glendale Water & Power held a series of interactive public meetings and provided more detailed information regarding the proposed water rate adjustments. If you missed any of the meeting, the June 5 meeting may be viewed here. To ask a water rate related question please email GWPratequestion@glendaleca.gov
To learn more about the proposed rate increase, please click here.
"Glendale's PERS obligation is 84% unfunded."
Glendale's pension obligation is actually 84% funded thanks to the City Council’s progressive stance on pension reform and the collaboration of our employees. The City’s participation in CALPERS has long been embedded in the City Charter. Additionally, it is worth noting that Glendale has historically maintained a fiscally conservative view of pensions and retirement obligations, and never offered exotic combinations of pension or retiree medical benefits.
Read more here.
Consistently, reports show that Glendale water meets and, in many instances, surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards. GWP has long been known to be industry leaders for removing contaminants and blending water. “Drinking Water” delivered to our customers are below state mandates and can be reviewed in annual reports. Previous reports have accurately reported the quality of the drinking water delivered by GWP.
Utility Users Tax (UUT) ballot measure submitted for signature verification is for the upcoming June 2014 special election.
The Utility Users Tax ballot submitted for signature verification has yet to be validated by Los Angeles County Registrar. Should they obtain the requisite number of signatures, this measure would not appear until the April 2015 municipal election.
? Why is the City supporting SB 1129 (Steinberg)?
In 2012, the State dismantled nearly 400 redevelopment agencies (RDA), revoking one of the best tools for local cities and counties to create vibrant communities, build affordable housing, and spur economic growth. The State once again ripped funding away from local governments to their own use, a pattern that began with the ERAF transfer of the 1990s. Glendale, however, has an obligation to its residents and businesses to move forward with what is left. In an effort to minimize the unintended consequences of the dissolution of redevelopment, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced SB 1129. This bill, if passed, would allow Glendale’s Successor Agency to use the $50 million in taxable redevelopment bonds it issued in 2011. These bonds have been kept out of reach of Glendale and do not serve their original purpose of funding public improvements, affordable housing, and economic development. They are currently only paying dividends to bond holders. Again, as we struggle to emerge from the great recession, $50 million remains on the sidelines as an untapped resource to create jobs and move the economy forward. The purpose of these bonds, as adopted in Glendale’s implementation plan of 2009, was to build infrastructure, affordable housing, and improve the quality of life for Glendale’s residents, businesses, and community.
Click here to read more.
Utility Users Tax (Glendale UUT) does not pay for essential City services. It should be repealed.
Glendale prides itself on being a full service city. Glendale maintains a class-1 fire department, a police department that keeps its citizens safe in one of America's safest cities, and provides programming for children, adults, and life-long learners through its parks and library departments. These amenities, that the community has come to appreciate and expect, and funded in part through the Glendale Utility Users Tax.
Read full Op-Ed by City Manager Scott Ochoa here.
The City violates its own Charter regarding transfers.
There has been discussion on the longstanding Glendale electric transfer of operating revenues from GWP to the General Fund, since 1941. Simply, the city as do others, own and operate a utility to generate revenue. Our stockholders, unlike other utilities, are the businesses and residents of Glendale. Your shares come in the form of services. For more than sixty years those funds have helped the City pay for public services delivered by librarians, paramedics, police officers, engineers, and the like.The City does not violate its Charter in transferring operating revenues; the City does not violate Prop 218; the City does not violate Prop 26.
Read full Op-Ed by City Manager Scott Ochoa here.
Each Sister City Association will be required to provide maintenance and upkeep to only their individual memorials / monuments. The City of Glendale is a culturally diverse and vibrant community and respects each of our Sister Cities. The goals of the Sister City program are to exchange cultural, educational and professional programs in each city and to share common problems and solutions to daily activities. Learn more about Sister City program here.
Contact Management Services for more information.