Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson made a new statement about the LP&L rate increase on Saturday. The mayor says he wants the increase pushed back until October, to give citizens a chance to "budget for the increase."
He also made some new allegations against LP&L, saying, "They are implementing a rate increase without any attempt to cut expenses."
Some Lubbock citizens will be taking matters into their own hands on Monday. They have scheduled a protest outside the Lubbock Power & Light building from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Here's the complete text of the mayor's statement, taken from his Facebook page:
I have been a vocal critic of LP&L for several years, dating back to when I campaigned against Mr. Hernandez for the District One seat on the City Council, through my service on the LPL board and now as Mayor. I am very concerned about the events that have led up the point we are now. I am receiving the most heartbreaking emails and calls from citizens who are being forced to make hard decisions concerning their family finances as a direct result of their LPL bill.
I have informed the staff of LPL that if the board does not call an emergency meeting to discuss recommending to the council a temporary repeal of the rate increase, that I will take action and call a special meeting of the City Council. I will ask this council to have the courage and compassion to put a temporary halt to the increase in order to find out what went wrong and how can we fix it.
Rate increases are inevitable, but we have to find a way to be completely honest with the public about how much it will cost. We also must be able to justify the increase and give the public time to budget for the increase. I am incensed that the LPL board did not question one single expenditure in their recent discussions of a $227 million budget.
They are implementing a rate increase without any attempt to cut expenses. This rate increase should never have happened, the rate consultants that LPL paid over $250,000 recommended that the rate increase be made in October and staff decided that they wanted it earlier. This will increase LPL's revenue by more than $5 million dollars this year alone. It is estimated to raise revenue by almost $20 million next year.
I am very sorry for the harm this rate increase has caused to our citizens. Although I voted against this rate increase, I have to take responsibility for what happens now. I cannot promise to fix the problem, but I will promise to not quit trying.
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