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Letters: Constructing a better DWP

August 21, 2013

Re “A big push for DWP contract,” Aug. 17, and “Accountability and the DWP,” Editorial, Aug. 16

I have nothing against the Department of Water and Power nor the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18. I believe the DWP provides good service, and that unions serve a crucial role.

But it's time for the DWP and the City Council to get serious and not settle for mediocrity.

There are too many problems: unlimited sick pay, outsized salaries, extra pay when outside contractors are used and employees who don't contribute to their healthcare.

We elected Mayor Eric Garcetti with a mandate: Reform the DWP. Any contract must include a means through which he can fulfill that mandate.

I hope our City Council members — including those whose elections were supported by the IBEW — will show courage and keep working now to rid the DWP of some of its worst practices and to gain true accountability.

Rebecca Beatty
Sherman Oaks

Kudos to The Times for its outstanding coverage of the DWP contract negotiations. From the investigations to your columnist's musings to your editorial on the problems with the present “good” DWP offer, you have really helped Angelenos understand the situation.

I can't help but note, however, the contrast between your fairly conservative viewpoint on this and other local government issues, such as the need for infrastructure repairs, and your unabashedly liberal views on statewide and national fiscal policies.

It is one reason I wish all politics were local; it seems there is a lot more room for common sense in one's own backyard than when trying to tell someone in another neighborhood what to do in theirs.

Jeffrey C. Briggs

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