DWP nominee vows openness

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s pick to lead the Department of Water and Power pledged Monday to promote openness and transparency in the massive utility’s $3.9billion budget and proposed rate increases. The naming of attorney and environmentalist H. David Nahai for the job came just three days after longtime chief Ron Deaton announced his retirement. Nahai, who served two years in a voluntary post on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, vowed to push for reform at the nation’s largest public utility. “Irrespective of how engaged and how effective a commissioner is, he or she is, at the end of the day, still pushing from the outside,” Nahai said. “This nomination will give me the opportunity to lead from the inside.” In announcing his choice for the job, Villaraigosa said Nahai has special qualifications. If approved by his former board and the City Council, as expected, Nahai would leave his real estate law firm and take on the nearly $350,000-a-year job heading the utility beginning Dec. 1. Nahai would take the helm as the DWP tries to convert 20percent of its electrical supply from coal to more green sources, such as solar and wind power, by 2010. The utility has also suffered major problems with power reliability and is attempting to upgrade its aging electrical and water infrastructure. Nahai has argued that the utility must raise rates to pay for the needed upgrades. The City Council will begin considering a plan today to increase electricity rates by 9percent over the next three years and water rates by 6percent over two years. Nahai pledged unprecedented transparency on how the rate increases would be spent, including the formation of an oversight committee to track the money raised and how it’s used. “The people of Los Angeles deserve, and are entitled to, accountability,” Nahai said, pledging that revenues from a rate increase will be spent wisely. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Kerry Cavanaugh Staff Writer LOS ANGELES: Mayor Villaraigosa picks former water and power commissioner H. David Nahai to head the utility. last_img

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