LP&L suggested a 5.7% rate hike that would start in October, which the Electric Utility Board says is necessary to keep funding the utility.That is not sitting well with Lubbock City Council. In last week's meeting, district one's Victor Hernandez and Mayor Glen Robertson both speaking out against it, offering suggestions of budget cuts and reduced payments to the city.
District five's Karen Gibson on "Good Day Lubbock" Monday morning said she is not ready to see those bills go up either, "I also understand that smaller increments and increases are better than a big one. You have to weigh that, but I'd like to see. I also understand, if we vote on it now, it won't be until October. There are a lot of things I have to weigh, but if I had to vote on it today it would be 'no.'"
Both the mayor and councilman Hernandez's suggestions were withdrawn. The council has agreed that "too much directing" of the Electric Utility Board has caused too many problems in the past.
Councilwoman Gibson also touched on the smoke-free propositions put before council. In Texas, 37 other cities have already passed smoke-free ordinances similar to the West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition. Gibson said she supports businesses going smoke free, but not just by the city's demand.
"I think that should be their choice, and not the council telling them 'you have to go smoke free,'" Gibson said. She also indicated that the potential change could go to the hands of the voters, rather than city council. "If that's what the voters want, that's fine. I don't think it's the local government's place to tell them to do that."
No official proposals have been made or sponsored by any council member to be put on the docket. If proposed and passed as the smoke-free coalition wants, an ordinance would only ban smoking indoors. Patios, decks or outdoor smoking sections would still be allowed.