Home > CO2-Free Energy (Example: Solar Electricity), Fande = Fact & Evidence, The Economy > Fande from Richard Nemec, writing for the LA Times

Fande from Richard Nemec, writing for the LA Times

Fande = Fact & Evidence; Cande = Conjecture & Exaggeration

* Even Opinion-Editorials should be based on fact & evidence, exhibited perfectly by Richard Nemec.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-nemec9-2009oct09,0,5784397.story

EXCERPTS:

When I first read the news last spring that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had named S. David Freeman as his deputy mayor for environmental and energy programs, I was sure that H. David Nahai’s tenure as general manager at the city utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, would be short. Fast-forward to now: Nahai has resigned, and the mayor has proposed — and the commission that oversees the DWP has approved — Freeman, 83, to be the interim chief for six months.

Thus the political musical chairs in the DWP’s executive suite continue. Dating back to the mid-1990s when Mayor Richard Riordan brought in a political pro, William McCarley, as the first non-engineer to head the city-run utility, there have been four chiefs, including Freeman….

This political patronage needs to stop. And Freeman, himself a lifetime political appointee at all levels of government, needs to get a professional utility executive to head the cash-cow utility. That’s the best service he could provide his politician boss.

The DWP has not been a model of transparency in the current management shuffle. Its oversight board called a special meeting Tuesday to deal with the changes, but held it in a Boyle Heights youth center away from the customary downtown boardroom. Although such meetings are public, they are usually also accessible through a teleconferencing hookup, but there was no such link this time. I would like to have heard the discussion about Nahai’s exit and Freeman’s return.

The longer-range concern may be what Freeman is going to do with the city utility as it faces a crucial time for both power and water operations. But more immediately, there should be transparency and openness about Nahai’s consulting contract with the DWP, at $6,282 a week, and Freeman’s salary of $6,250 a week, both approved on Tuesday….

What’s needed is a leader with professional credentials whom the vast majority of dedicated city utility workers will follow, and someone who can go toe to toe with big-name state energy officials and private-sector utility CEOs….

That transition is simple: Move out of the recession, address global climate change, shrink reliance on coal-fired generation and become a champion for aggressive energy efficiency and renewable-based generation, and do it without a lot of rate increases. All this should be bipartisan work that gets across-the-board support at City Hall.

Although both the unions and mayor have a different idea, Freeman needs to find a real leader for the nation’s largest city-run utility.

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