Governance in a Changing Market: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

By Walter Baer; Edmund Edelman et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Other Governance Models for
Municipal Utilities
While DWP and many municipal utilities operate as city departments, others have different organizational and governance structures. This chapter describes and contrasts five such models:
Municipal utility reporting to city council (e.g., Austin, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado).
Independent city agency (e.g., Jacksonville, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee).
City-owned corporation (e.g., Toronto, Ontario; Safford, Arizona).
Municipal Utility District (e.g., Sacramento Municipal Utility District).
Joint Powers Agency (e.g., Southern California Public Power Authority).

MUNICIPAL UTILITY REPORTING TO CITY COUNCIL

A number of cities simplify governance by having the municipal utility report directly to the city council. The Colorado Springs City Charter, for example, designates the city council as the board of directors for the utility. The utility executive director then reports directly to the council. Austin, Texas, as well as a number of California cities— including Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena—have similar governance structures but include council-appointed citizen advisory commissions.

In 1998 Colorado Springs also adopted a new governance framework “suited to today's business reality in which flexibility, quick responsiveness, and clear long-term direction are essential to success.” The framework, largely developed by consultant John Carver, 26 seeks to separate the policy functions of the board from the operational re

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Governance in a Changing Market: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Summary ix
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations xix
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Current Dwp Governance Structure 7
  • Chapter 3 - Decisionmaking and Operational Problems under the Current Structure 13
  • Chapter 4 - Other Governance Models for Municipal Utilities 23
  • Chapter 5 - Governance Options for Dwp 35
  • Chapter 6 - What Comes Next? 45
  • Appendix - A Brief History of Dwp 47
  • Endnotes 57
  • Bibliography 63
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