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Glendale shouldn't sell GWP

August 09, 2013

Reading the Glendale News-Press article of Thursday, Aug. 8, relating the Glendale city manager’s suggestion that the Glendale Department of Water & Power (GWP)  be sold if electricity rates are not increased (“To sell GWP or to keep it?”), reminded me of a child who is losing the game and threatens to take his ball and go home. It certainly did not sound like a seasoned manager charged with the responsibility of running one of the most populous cities in California.

Such a reckless option flies in the face of common sense, let alone 21st century management techniques. Such a disastrous alternative kills the "goose that lays the golden egg", as the city would no longer have the opportunity to raid the coffers of the GWP annually of more than $20 million. In addition, admittedly the GWP would bring a relatively small sales price and thus would be throwing away the billions of dollars invested  in the GWP over the last century. Also, any potential buyer/investor would have their own income statement and shareholders' interests at heart and not that of the citizenry of Glendale. Thus, residents and businesses could look forward to extremely high and growing utility  rates.

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The GWP suffers from the effects of some very bad managerial decisions of the past. Glendale's forefathers, I'm sure, would be turning over in their graves to learn that Glendale might dispose of its precious jewel, the GWP. 

Glendale and the GWP need a high degree of quality in managerial staff and decisions, not just a policy throwing taxpayers' money at a problem. Selling the GWP  would be "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

Claude Soderstrom
Verdugo City

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