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EDITORIAL SCOOTER SILLINESS SURELY THE DWP CAN FIND BETTER USES FOR OUR MONEY.

BECAUSE the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power turns a tidy profit from its monopoly, its managers seem to think the surplus funds provided by ratepayers and taxpayers belong to them.

They dish out millions of dollars to nonprofit groups that have nothing to do with the DWP's mission. They pay millions more to private public relations firms to polish their image. They give away huge raises to employees in the middle of a recession.

And now the DWP intends to lend nearly $2 million in unsecured loans to Hawaii to bankroll a farfetched scheme to market electric scooters in the Third World. That makes as much sense as the money the DWP threw down the drain on quiet leaf blowers.

What the DWP officials and its board seem to forget is that their money is really ours. If the utility has cash to burn, it ought to cut rates for its L.A. customers and slash its utility taxes.

The DWP shouldn't be playing venture capitalist, especially not for hare-brained scooter schemes.

City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter's Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is taking a look at the loan, ought to send it to the full City Council for a quick veto.

The DWP is a public agency. Its profits ought to benefit the public, not obscure special interests.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 30, 2003
Words:222
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