The Los Angeles City Council voted Nov. 17 to place two charter reform measures on the March 8, 2011, ballot. They would give the city council more say over how the nation\u2019s biggest public power agency is run--including authority over its general manager and board. The measures are aimed at reforming the balance of power in governing the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. They seek to give the council the power to fire the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power\u2019s general manager and members of its board of commissioners, and exert more say over the department\u2019s budget. They also would assure the muni regularly transfers surplus revenues to the city\u2019s general fund and create an independent office to advocate for ratepayers and rout out waste, inefficiency, fraud, and abuse. LADWP is now dominated by the city\u2019s mayor and also, many say, by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18. That union represents many of the department\u2019s employees. The LA City Ethics Commission shows IBEW donated $7,000 to Villaraigosa for his mayoral races and no money to city council members Jan Perry or Eric Garcetti, who both pushed for the reform measures. The council acted after a union-affiliated organization, the Working Californians Issues Committee, ran a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Daily News Nov. 15 calling the reform measures hasty, unnecessary, and potentially expensive. Unmoved by the prospect of union opposition, the council backed going ahead and putting the measures before voters. \u201cBring it on,\u201d said council member Greig Smith shortly before the elected officials acted. Councilmember Perry added that the council needs to play a greater role in governing the department on behalf of all of the city\u2019s residents. \u201cThat\u2019s our job,\u201d she said. The council\u2019s action comes after pressure to reform departmental governance, which has been building in the face of rate hikes for both power and water (Current, Nov. 5, 2010). The union also figures significantly. Calls for reform heated up in the course of debate over a 2009 union-advanced ballot measure that would have given the IBEW the primary role in installing solar panels to help the muni in its drive to use more renewable energy (Current, March 27, 2009). It was narrowly defeated by a vote of 50.5 percent no to 49.5 percent yes. Opponents called the union-backed plan too expensive, favoring a greater role for private installers. Tensions over the union\u2019s dominance at the department further heightened when city workers in other departments faced cutbacks in light of the sagging economy and bleak municipal fiscal picture. As they faced reductions in force and salary limits, LADWP employees doing similar work continued to enjoy higher salaries and job security under the IBEW contract.