Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Stephen Kruiser

Bio

August 5, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Not an outlandish question.

The water main that broke near UCLA last week was ninety years old, which isn’t unusual here in the City of Angels. The only things more common than fault lines running under this city are ancient water pipes. It’s a situation that even the mayor admits isn’t going to get better soon.

As is typical with bureaucracies, the problem is blamed on a lack of money. As is also typical with bureaucracies, it is really more a problem of prioritization and budgeting than available funds.

From the Wall Street Journal article linked above (emphasis mine):

The DWP blames a lack of money, but consider its labor costs: According to the Los Angeles Times, DWP workers in 2012 earned on average $101,237, which is 50% more than other city employees and 25% more than those at comparable public and private utilities. Many earn more than half their salaries in overtime—perversely because of the need to make emergency repairs. During the first six months of 2013, workers grossed $77 million in bonuses and overtime.

Then there’s the $40 million the city last year discovered had been diverted to two trusts jointly controlled by the union and utility managers. The DWP recently spent $162 million on a new electronic billing system that overcharged more than 60,000 rate payers and resulted in bank overdraft fees.

Like many cities, Los Angeles has underinvested in public works as its priorities have changed to finance transfer payments and government employees instead.

What we have here is a situation that is waiting to literally and figuratively just waiting to blow up in their faces. Sadly, like the other municipal and state governments that are rushing headlong into financial oblivion because they’re run by Democrat Big Labor cronies, they may not do anything until everything explodes.

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (2)
All Comments   (2)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"90 year old pipes? Not my problem, I'm only responsible for the new ones" No one screwed up 90 years ago.. LA by hook and by crook obtained the water rights to most of the state's watershed. Once done, and the water started flowing, it grew and grew until it needed more water... at which point it took more water, this time from the colorado river... which, conveniently enough, no one seemed to be using at the time. Hoover dam.. water AND power?!!! sweet! (side note, the colorado river used to flow into the sea of cortez.. google maps that... its bone dry before it even reaches the mexican border. We take every drop! As well we should.. its our dang river!)

The DWP started its life as a private enterprise. It was folded into a quasi governmental entity later.. and zero cash.. I mean it when I say it.. zero cash was set aside for replacing assets that were scheduled to last for decades.

any "improvements" were simply a new bond issue. Repairs were cost averaged and rates increased accordingly. After it became fully governmental in nature (though technically still exists politically separate from the LA city council) it has become the piggy bank for the Los Angeles city and county governments.

The City and County of LA raid the DWP every year.

Smash the piggy bank enough and wonder why there isn't enough money in it to make major replacements that no one has thought could even possible be needed in the future.. cause history teaches us.. they weren't line items in the budget for the last 90 years, why would they be now?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
>> Sadly, like the other municipal and state governments that are rushing headlong into financial oblivion because they’re run by Democrat Big Labor cronies, they may not do anything until everything explodes.
And even then it is doubtful they will act against their own interests. They've long since stop serving the people paying the bill, and are serving instead those who pay dues. Thus as it ever was...and should not be.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

One Trackback to “Is Big Labor Keeping The L.A. Water Dept. From Replacing Old Pipes?”