The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 March 2005

WA: City Light Ratepayers Declare War on Waste and Fraud

Amazing that if it wasn't for a group of citizen watchdogs, Seattle City Light and the Seattle City Council would continue to get away with ripping off ratepayers in a variety of ways:

(Seattle Times)

The city is appealing King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong's ruling in May that City Light should quit spending money on artwork not closely tied to its mission of providing electrical service. Armstrong said much of the $2.8 million the utility had spent on art in the past four years was impermissible, including a $100,000 installation the utility paid for at the new Seattle opera house, McCaw Hall.

Armstrong also ruled the city's One Percent for Art ordinance, which requires that 1 percent of capital-projects costs be spent on public art, was invalid for City Light because the money did not benefit electricity ratepayers. The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks a similar ruling for Seattle Public Utilities.

Incredible to think that you're paying for opera house art when you get those huge winter heating bills. Even crazier to think the city would fight in court, using your money for legal expenses, to continue to waste money this way.


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