Proudly serving the communities of Lake View Terrace,
La Tuna Canyon, Mission Hills, North Hills, Pacoima,  Shadow Hills,
Sunland-Tujunga and Sylmar.
January 2016
Dear Friends,

It's time to reform the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's governance structure.  This month, I introduced a motion calling for a 2016 ballot measure to reform and restructure the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP). The proposal calls for the creation of a full-time, professional board to oversee the department; the elimination of civil service at the utility; and to place a cap on the City Transfer. Such changes to the City Charter would require voter approval.

As defined by the City Charter, DWP must report to a part-time board, City Council and Mayor. No single City entity is responsible for actively managing the utility. As a result, the utility, as it's currently structured, is failing the ratepayer. The reforms, I proposed, will provide the oversight and transparency necessary to ensure the department is accountable to its ratepayers while operating as efficiently as possible with ratepayer dollars.

The motion asks the City Attorney, in consultation with the City Administrative Officer, to prepare language for City Charter and Administrative Code amendments to implement the reforms.

Specifically, the proposals call for:

-Replacing the volunteer Board of Water and Power Commissioners with full-time, professional board members who can provide increased oversight and transparency;
-Reducing interference from the City Council and Mayor in Board decisions;
-Authorizing the Board to hire its own legal and analytical staff to provide independent analysis of utility operations;
-Eliminating civil service for DWP employees to improve hiring efficiency;
-Capping the annual City Transfer to keep more ratepayer funds at the utility.
Soon the DWP will be presenting its case for a new rate increase to the City Council. It would be irresponsible of us to approve a rate increase without addressing the need for critical governance reform at the Department. Also, it would be a disservice to you, the ratepayers, of this City who entrusted us with the authority to manage the services they need and deserve.

As always, I welcome your feedback and appreciate your continued support.

Felipe Fuentes
Councilmember, Seventh District
Ensuring the DWP improves security flaws at power facilities

Recently, the Daily News obtained an un-redacted copy of the 2015 Industrial, Economic and Administrative (IEA) Study conducted by Navigant Consulting. The report detailed one facilities visited by Navigant laced working security cameras. At one power distribution center, Navigant found DWP personnel did not inspect delivery trucks or record names of drivers. I introduced a motion requesting the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to immediately report on actions taken by DWP to address the security gaps and actions taken to implement security recommendations by Navigant.
Toasting LA Walks 2016 Walking Stars

This month, I was deeply honored to be recognized by LA Walks during its 2016 Awards Dinner. I've spent the past few years supporting efforts to
increase mobility for all modes of travel in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, as well as throughout the City. Both from a policy and project standpoint, I've made it a priority to support improvements in mobility, especially for those who walk, bicycle and ride horses on our city streets. It is critical to provide a safe pathway for all modes of travel from developments to our city streets. I've been proud to spearhead a number of district-specific projects which will improve the pedestrian experience including improving sidewalks or adding sidewalks where none exists, improving crosswalk safety, increasing bicycle connections and providing more streetscape amenities enhancing a pedestrian's sense of safety and experience.   
League of California Cities

I attended the League of California Cities (LCC) conference in Sacramento this month. During the conference, I participated in discussions, with State Legislators and local elected leaders, about our State's water needs, our housing crisis and economic development. I am the Chair of the LCC's Environmental Quality Committee and I'm happy to be a voice for Los Angeles on important state-wide issues which will make life more sustainable for our communities.
Celebrating Impact Makers in the City of Los Angeles

Every day in LA, thousands of people are working to make the city a better place, improving the lives of fellow Angelenos. The City Impact Lab in Los Angeles brings together those working to make an impact -- in government, in the arts, in neighborhoods, in non-profits, and in business -- to share strategies and collaborate. I was happy to recognize and nominate Pierre Arreola, founder of The GR818ers. The organization has been instrumental in bridging the gap in our communities and introducing the arts and music to our youth. Thanks to Pierre for his dedication and commitment to the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

This month Councilmember Felipe Fuentes introduced a motion calling for a 2016 ballot measure to reform and restructure the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP).  Councilmember Fuentes proposed creating a full-time, professional board to oversee the department; eliminating civil service at the utility; and placing a cap on the City Transfer. Such changes to the City Charter would require voter approval . ... read more ... 
Start the year debt free with the City's library services    

This Valentine season, the Los Angeles Public Library is playing cupid to reunite overdue materials with our library shelves. From February 1 - 14 only, library patrons can return overdue, undamaged materials to any of the 73 libraries and have their overdue fines forgiven. Library users, whose accounts have been blocked because of overdue fines, can reactivate those accounts and begin using their neighborhood libraries again. For more information, visit:
Prepare and File your Federal and State income tax returns for free
The California State University of Northridge's Income Tax Assistance Clinic is offering free tax services from January 23rd through April 15th. Spanish speaking interpreters and are available.  Appointments are strongly encouraged and are available online here. Walk-ins are welcome. There are eight locations throughout the San Fernando Valley. Click here to find one near you. Are you pressed for time? Drop-off service is available at the CSUN campus! (Drop off your documents at the CSUN campus and pick up your completed return one week later.)