LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Public transit to LAX and improved oversight for the Department of Water and Power (DWP) will be two of the top priorities for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the mayor said Wednesday.
KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports during his appearance on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO’s “Ask the Mayor” program, Garcetti pledged to find out how the DWP and its powerful union have spent millions in taxpayer dollars.
The District Attorney’s office is working with the City Controller Ron Galperin to determine how nonprofit groups IBEW-DWP Joint Safety Institute and Local 18 IBEW-DWP Joint Training Institute – which are funded by ratepayer funds – have received approximately $40 million from the DWP in the last 10 years, according to a statement from Galperin’s office.
Since the formation of the two groups a decade ago, no detailed audit has yet been made public – a trend Garcetti vowed to reverse.
“There’s no reason why public money that went that way shouldn’t be shown to the people of L.A. and if it can stand up, let’s continue,” said Garcetti.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office issued an opinion in December strongly upholding the Controller’s right to audit.
Garcetti also reiterated his support for a small train project that would take passengers and luggage directly into and out of LAX, similar to systems already in place at airports in San Francisco and New York.
“We’re gonna bring rail to LAX, it’s one of my top priorities and probably my top priority at the airport,” said Garcetti.
Some ideas being explored include stopping the Crenshaw Line about a mile and a half from the airport and rely on some sort of people-mover system that would arrive at the airport about every two minutes, or a rail line that would run directly underneath LAX, according to Garcetti.
However, Los Angeles County Metro officials have said it could be too costly and too risky to build a tunnel and one or more stations on the Crenshaw Line beneath the airport’s passenger terminals.
Garcetti said while the cost of the project was still being evaluated, it could be up to five years before ground is broken on any potential transportation system.