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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Solar Energy: The Right Way

By Nick Patsaouras

For more than three years and more recently as President of the Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners, I fought to end waste, inefficiency and contracting abuses in the city-owned utility and sought to create a Ratepayer Advocate to protect the public in the future.

Now we're being asked to give a blank check to the DWP and City Hall to spend billions of dollars on the nation's largest solar energy initiative ever -- a proposal that has no planning, no financial analysis, no engineering study.

Approval of Measure B on the March 3 ballot would be a costly mistake. It will cost ratepayers dearly, set back hopes for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and provide the special interests and politicians with a license to steal.

I resigned from the DWP Commission in October right after this measure was introduced without even being brought to the DWP board, right after my efforts to bring transparency and accountability by creating the Ratepayer Advocate were brushed aside.

From my experience as an engineer, businessman and 30 years as a watchdog on government spending, I can tell you as a fact the DWP isn't up to the job managing a solar energy this big and this important.

As things stand, the DWP just doesn't have the managerial skill and experience to handle a $3.6 billion solar initiative that's supposed to deliver within five years more than 30 times as much solar energy as the DWP has been able to deliver in the last 12 years.

Despite its high wages and benefits, the DWP has a very hard time recruiting and keeping workers and maintaining existing water and power facilities. Its management and staff are already overburdened trying to fulflil the Department`s commitment to complete a multi-billion dollar investment to bring those facilities up to date.

Just 11 months ago, DWP management felt the best it could do was manage a program to add 20 megawatts of rooftop solar energy to government buildings. Now, it is being asked to own, install and maintain a 400 megawatt system on commercial and industrial buidlings as well plus oversee a public/private solar energy program twice as big.

If past performance is any measure of future success, DWP isn't up to the task of handling this much money. A wind farm in Utah was financed by Lehman Bros., the failed investment firm, and now DWP faces losing that project as part of its renewable energy portfolio or being hit with big cost increases.

Measure B is a blueprint for disaster and the public will get the bill. Let's go back to the drawing board and come up with a renewable energy plan that makes fiscal sense and common sense, that protects ratepayers from catastrophic increases in their bills and delivers what we all went: A renewable energy program that we can afford, that is well planned and managed and makes Los Angeles the center of a thriving clean energy industry.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

I betcha Nick Patsouras isn't homeless, and using a P.O. Box for his mailing address.

Zuma Dog cannot understand that if you're homeless, you're not going to gain the trust of the voters.

Go Nick!

January 11, 2009 4:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He writes more clearly that he talks, but TV is KING.

Wendy has the money, we don't know if he will or not.

Either would be good in the job, but bet on Wendy for now.

January 11, 2009 4:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No one can understand anything Nick says when it's not painfully slow, out of the Reyes school of words sounding like you're chewing marbles while talking. Wendy will win, and she's more likeable.

With all the business Nick has gotten from the city for his contracting business, this sounds a lot like a case where he smelled something going down which didn't involve something in it for him. He's NO outsider and has benefited far more from his city work than has Wendy, who's limited to her salary.

Kind of an amusing contrast between two Levantine immigrants at DWP, though, the Oxford-English PErsian Nahai, and Patsouris. HE may play that up to be "the outsider" but he's not and neither the whites, nor Latinos or blacks, can make sense of him. Besides, Obama's plan to reduce dependency on foreign oil and encourage green technology is a popular platform and as far as people will see on this. Especially with Latino from California Hilda Solis on board.

January 11, 2009 5:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ever notice how whenever someone doesn't want to do something they always say "let's go back to the drawing board?" It is the PC way of saying "I prefer the status quo."

Wendy will win. Prop B will pass. Anyone who thinks otherwise is nuts.

January 11, 2009 6:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Do you guys get paid OT for spinning on Sunday nights?

January 11, 2009 7:01 PM  

Anonymous Don Quixote said:

i remember when racist higby and walter moore told mexicans to leave town and spread so much hate. now they have the man who was talented the Greek man nick
the solar plan our mayor has given us is the way to go. it creates good green jobs that Obama has given us. please do not join with the culos and vote for the mayor's plan.

January 11, 2009 7:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby told the Mexicans to leave town?

Why didn't they listen?

Hell, he could have been elected President of the United States if they had...

Well, at least Governor, or maybe just Mayor.

January 11, 2009 7:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

He must have if Don Culo says it is so. Don would have fond remembrances of his abuelita's menudo right after he told the mayates and jews to leave town.

January 11, 2009 7:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam why do you have all the Street Hassle nutbars like Don Quixote and his lovers/haters posting here? Please only allow comments on topics.

I was for Prop B but after reading the actual measure I see what the issue is. I will be voting no.

January 11, 2009 8:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I’m hopeful that the 255,242 Angelenos who voted against Measure R, Term extension to council members, will Term out and vote against the incumbents on March 3.

January 11, 2009 9:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can we get zuma dogg to term out before he ever gets a vote?

He's parked outside of his vacation home this morning, a/k/a Cafe Princess.

January 12, 2009 9:11 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Wow, a post from Nick P about Solar energy and look at the first comment. But you are right. I do not understand. I'll tell all the people who tell me they appreciate my efforts and TRUST ME what you said. Thanks for the help, loser. I'll read more about you in LA Weekly...Oh, no I won't. See you on ABC News Nightline...OH, NO I WON'T.



AND FINALLY: eaaendorsesnickpoverwendyforcitycontrollerlol!

January 12, 2009 11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

dear stoopid dogg, you only provided half a link.

like half of your thoughts, the link was incomplete.

you must be sweating out the final edit of night line. "oh shit, what am I gonna do if I don't get more than a sentence on it."

so loser, keep in mind all of the crooks like jim and tammy fay baker who have been on Nightline. they made asses of themselves on tv too.

January 12, 2009 11:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is funny: only ZD and the commenter are posting comments! Nobody else is reading!

January 12, 2009 11:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Really classy of zdogg to show up at wendy's event when he's pumping for her opponents, but that's to be expected. I hope the barbecue smell of the hotdogs blew his scent in the other direction of the picnic-ers.

Well the council asked for this bane by being so open, while the County Supervisors got rid of the smelly dogg and his nuisance barking soon as he showed up the third time to "educate his BF Zev" (can't he be restrained under nuisance laws affecting doggs?). Laws designed for constituents to air their legitimate grievances have been usurped by a handful of rude ranting gadgnats some of whom then use their public comment to "run for office," really, get a wider platform for their craziness.

Besides the mutt we had Jennerjerk -- I'm amazed that the ladies from Van Nuys aren't running for Controller yet. Actually, the fat one has offered to balance the city's budget and tell them where to cut spending, IF they pick her up because she's too out of shape to take the bus, she says. Funny, no one's taken her up on that. (Isn't it Alarcon who has one of the fanciest cars on Council in order to carry shovels and other tools in case he has to stop and clean up a mess or something? Can't he fit her back there?)

January 12, 2009 12:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We are reading. It is clear that the 3rd floor is actually afraid that Zuma will make some kind of credible protest vote showing at the primary. That would be embarassing for the 11% Mayor.

The Solar Initiative is beyond the capability of the DWP. Everyone can see that from the stats Nick quotes. On top of that, the conferring of an unnecessary monopoly on Solar to the DWP and its highly paid union will likely jack up the price of the installations that could be put in and maintained by the private sector at much less cost to RATEPAYERS.

Finally, there is the disturbing provision that puts the City Council and not the DWP Commissioners over the program. Unlike all other DWP operations, it looks like Solar, by this Charter amendment, would allow the Council to bypass DWP Commissioner oversight to amend or even replace the program in the future -- all without a new vote of the people. And if the DWP unions have certain City Council members like Eric Garcetti in their pocket, then in the future, its just the union running the program -- and the DWP.

The LA Times, the Daily News, and the LA Weekly should be ALL OVER the implications of this CHARTER AMENDMENT. It goes to the heart of our self-governance.

January 12, 2009 1:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

zooma dog is a hater who tried to disrupt wendy's event this weekend.

if he thinks that ruining other peoples events is going to make people vote for him, he's sorely mistaken.

you can disagree with someone's ideology all you want, but wendy is a lovely woman and all you're showing is how much out of touch you are with society. you had no business going there and even drawing attn to yourself. it was purely disrespectful.

and that's the only reason you were there. disrupt and draw attn away from the person who's trying to make a case for electing her. that's your way of doing business zuma. that's what you've become known for on ch 35.

January 12, 2009 5:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


What an embarrassment. He announced his candidacy over 2 months ago. How can this guy ask for anyone's support if he's not going to work hard? What a joke.

January 12, 2009 7:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you support Nick P, a Facebook page has just launched to help him win, please check it out.


January 13, 2009 12:45 PM  

Blogger Christian said:

Before purchasing solar panels, you will need to first of all know how many panels you need for your home and how many watts you want the panels to be. The more wattage a panel has, the more expensive it will be. In many cases purchasing a set of panels is cheaper than purchasing them individually.

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May 04, 2011 2:00 AM  

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