Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members may be close to a breakthrough in their protracted dispute over how much the municipal utility should charge ratepayers and how much it should contribute to the city's troubled treasury.
The council voted 8 to 5 on Wednesday to adopt a three-month electricity rate increase of 0.6 of a cent per kilowatt hour to take effect July 1 and be reviewed again by Oct. 1. The action marked the second time that the 15-member council mustered a bare eight-vote majority to back an increase equivalent to a 4.5% boost for ratepayers. Opposing the plan were council members Bernard C. Parks, Jan Perry, Paul Krekorian, Tom LaBonge and Dennis Zine. Councilmen Greig Smith and Ed Reyes were absent.