LADERA HEIGHTS ( — They key issue, as the mayoral runoff election approaches, may turn out to be the tremendous figures earned by the Department of Water and Power in the midst of hard economic times.

Employees at DWP were reportedly making 20% – 40% more than other utility employees. However, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years, DWP employees have allegedly received a 15% raise, as other city workers struggle financially.

The report says that the average salary for DWP employees last year was over $101,000.

The reaction to this report by the mayoral candidates?

They blamed each other.

“My opponent is the one who actually voted on the rate increases in 2009,” Wendy Greuel said. “The salary increases and rate increases.”

“After seven, eight audits in the Department of Water and Power, there is exactly zero dollars in waste that she uncovered,” Eric Garcetti said.

Garcetti went on to say that Greuel’s candidacy is being funded by millions of dollars of DWP unions.

Meanwhile, Greuel suggests that Garcetti can’t be trusted to take care of the issue, insisting that he did not fix it when he was on the city’s council.

The mayoral election is set for May 21.