On November 3rd, 2020 Pasadena residents will have a choice. The ballot measure allows for Pasadena voters to decide whether to maintain the longstanding utility transfer to the general fund. The elimination of these funds would result in the annual loss of approximately $18 million that support emergency 911 response, fire, paramedic, public health programs for the community, senior services, homelessness and housing programs, street repairs, and other general services and programs.
Questions and Answers
Q: Is this a new revenue source for the City?
No. Since 1934, the Pasadena Charter provisions calling for the annual transfer of funds have previously gone to and passed by voters a combined total of 7 times. To maintain the current voter-approved funding, the City Council is placing it on the ballot.
Q: What challenges is the city facing?
The City of Pasadena is already suffering from a $30 million loss due to COVID-19. Utilizing reserved funds and the deferment of projects and programs, the city has continued to serve and establish programs for Pasadena residents and businesses during this health crisis. If the city loses the longstanding revenue generated by the utility and the transfer to the general fund, approximately $18 million in city services and programs would be reduced or eliminated.
Q: What are the funds used for?
These funds help support emergency 911 response, fire, paramedics, public health programs, senior services, homelessness programs, street repairs, clean and safe public areas along with other general services.
Q: What more will the measure do?
The Charter amendment simply protects current funding levels that provide the services residents receive today. If approved by a majority of Pasadena voters, the measure will also require annual independent audits with public disclosure, reduce and limit the Light & Power Fund transfer to not more than 12%, previously as much as 16%.
Q: Is this a new tax?
Q: Does the measure raise taxes?
Q: Does the measure raise utility rates?
Q: Do the funds benefit the local community?
Yes. The funds remain local even amid medical emergencies, natural disasters, or federal and state budget cuts. Locally generated funds are locally controlled to protect essential City services that maintain and improve the quality of life for the benefit of Pasadena residents.
How Measure Will Appear on Your Ballot
Pasadena Water and Power's (PWP) history started in 1906 when the Municipal Light and Power Department was established. Residents passed a $125,000 bond to construct a locally controlled power plant that would electrify street lights for less than what Edison charged the city.
Soon thereafter, residents supported another bond measure for more capacity at the power plant and the department began its first commercial electric service in 1908 providing a reliable source of energy and generating municipal revenue. As a community-owned utility, customers have enjoyed the benefits that support the City's infrastructure and essential services like 911 emergency response, fire, paramedics, and programs for the health of our community; even amid medical emergencies, natural disasters, or federal and state budget cuts.
Over 100 years later, PWP continues to be a reliable utility and operates for the benefit of Pasadena residents and businesses. Today, PWP provides electricity to more than 65,000 customers.
For more history on Pasadena Water & Power please visit www.PWPweb.com/About.
The Measure Protects Funding for City Services