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Look at what the Charter really says

August 28, 2012

I appreciate Ron Kaye’s kind words regarding my criticism that the city’s $21 million transfer of electrical receipts to support general services violates Glendale’s Charter (“The city’s trouble with Harry,” Aug. 26). I write to address issues the city’s refutation memo, commented on by Kaye, ignores.

First, the 2011-2012 budget shows $21 million transferred from the electric works revenue fund (the fund that receives all electrical receipts) directly to the Charter-established General Budget Fund created to receive all unrestricted revenue receipts and to pay for general appropriations — for general services. But Art. XI, Sec. 14 of the Charter establishing that budget fund expressly precludes GWP monies from going to it. Nowhere does the memo address this conflict between practice and Charter.

Second, the Charter provision cited to support the transfer comes from the section establishing the GWP Surplus Fund where surplus monies, if any, left after GWP needs are met are credited (thus the name “Surplus Fund”). That provision states: “…an amount equal to … [25% of GWP’s operating revenues] shall be transferred from the … [GWP] Surplus Fund to the General Reserve Fund....” The Charter-created General Reserve Fund is a revolving credit fund designed to advance cash to other funds pending tax collections. With one exception, the advances must be returned to it.

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The memo doesn’t explain how a provision authorizing excess GWP monies in a surplus fund that can be used for temporary cash advances justifies $21 million going from the electric works Revenue Fund to pay for general services.

I invite everyone to look at Art. XI, Secs. 14, 15, 20 and 22. Satisfy yourself as to what the Charter provides.

Harry Zavos
Glendale

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