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 5
Governance Options for DWP
DWP's existing governance system appears overly complex, cumbersome, and bureaucratic—particularly when compared with other municipal utility structures described in Chapter 4. In the short run, some procedural changes could improve decisionmaking and oversight within the department's current structure. But in light of the city's need to decide whether or not to open the Los Angeles electricity market to competition, serious consideration of more streamlined governance structures for a competitive, municipally owned utility seems in order.Our review of other municipal utility experience, as well as new governance models discussed in our interviews with stakeholders, suggests two principal alternatives to the status quo:
Create a city-owned corporation to provide utility services.
Create a more independent city agency governed by a strong board or commission.
Because of the need for state legislation and for other reasons outlined in the previous section, the options of establishing a new MUD or a JPA appear more difficult to achieve. If passed by county voters, however, a MUD would also be the structure most resistant to change by or influence from local elected officials.Creating either a city-owned corporation or a more independent city agency with a strong governing board would be controversial and would require amending the city charter significantly. Consequently, we also explore a third, but probably less effective, option:
Modify the existing structure to improve DWP governance.

These three options are discussed below, and their basic governance functions are compared with the status quo in Table 5.1.

-35-

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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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