Recently, there has been a great deal written about Glendale Water & Power in the press. Much of it has been controversial — smart meters, leadership changes, a budget deficit, proposed rate increases, poor public outreach, the revenue transfer to the city's general fund. In the absence of straightforward and concise answers, folks are tempted to believe the worst.
As the city manager, I understand why folks may be concerned. Just as important, I know that my city council and community expect answers, success and stability — and they expect it now. Thus, over the last six months, I have come to the following conclusions:
One, SmartGrid technology is a valuable tool for serving our customers in the future. Such technology is expensive in this early stage, but it is hardly “bleeding edge.” Moreover, with the offset of federal grant funds, Glendale's investment will be proven more cost-effective than other utilities that hesitated in entering the digital age.