Glendale Water & Power has been used as a crutch to prop up the city's budget since voters approved Proposition 13, severely cramping the local property revenues typically used to cover the costs of public services.
But the recent series of events, occurring since the City Council stopped transferring millions in water utility revenues, smacks of shell-game budgeting. The council grudgingly stopped when it was determined the practice could violate state law.
City officials are floating a proposal that would essentially make up some of that loss by changing the way Glendale Water & Power is charged for certain water and electric services. It just so happens, they say, that the water utility was being undercharged all these years, so by shifting $2 million in expenses to the water side, they can pull the same amount more over from the electricity side to the General Fund as they work to bridge an $18-million gap.