The Mixer: DWP contracts, street repairs and the Sheriff’s race

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On our Mixer this week,  Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA joined us.

The LA City Council today told city staff to finalize a new agreement between the city and the union that represents about 9 in 10 workers at the Department of Water and Power.

The deal will – over the course of 30 years – save ratepayers about $6 billion.

Sonenshein said Garcetti probably did all he could to get the best deal for the city, even though DWP rates are still going to go up, just not as much as before.

On a related note, the LA City Council has approved a study and is trying to figure out how to pay for much-needed repairs to city streets.

The questions are: a) whether council members will find a fee instead of a tax to do it. Or, b) whether voters will spring for $3 Billion in bonds next November (2014).

Indeed, Garcetti said during his campaign that he didn’t think we needed a sales tax increase, so that could put him in a tough spot coming up.

Speaking of tough spots, two of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s candidates are handcuffed to county jail woes.

Current Sheriff Lee Baca is still reeling from the scorn of a blue-ribbon commission that pointed fingers at him and some of his deputies and jail guards for abuse at county lockups. A handful of opponents are now running against the four-term Sheriff, including his former Under-Sheriff, Paul Tanaka.

Raphe had a column in this week’s Jewish Journal about the Sheriff Baca and his big challenge. Is Baca tainted by the jail abuse scandal? Is Tanaka, who was also cited in the scathing report, a better option for LA County voters?

Questions we’re following.

In addition to this one: Is anyone even following this race?

By the way, you can now subscribe to the Mixer podcast in iTunes! Never miss a single week.