Letters to the Editor 01-17-12
Trash fees will go up without residents' voices
Advance Disposal is looking to change trash service for Hesperia residents in a big way. The current unlimited trash pickup will be replaced with a two can limit. Any additional cans will be an additional charge. Looking at the new rate scale, it will go down in phase 1. Phases 2 and 3 are both increases to the rate which will have us paying more for less. This contract will be in place for 25 years.
Unless the residents of Hesperia let the City Council know that they don’t want this, it will happen. Eleven thousand residents need to tell the City Council no prior to the meeting in February. You can come to tonight’s meeting or you can call the city offices, send an email or write a letter simply saying, “I do not want this to happen.”
The additional money that Advance Disposal is going to be collecting from the residents will be used to help offset the cost of their new multimillion dollar expansion to the existing facility. This expansion will be located to the west of the existing building, which is in a flood area. Will this expansion divert the natural flow of water? I hope the city planners are taking this into account prior to allowing this building to happen.
The Hesperia citizens overwhelmingly voted no on the fire tax at the last election. The citizens of Hesperia need to say no to this increase in our trash service fee. If you don’t, Advance Disposal will have their hand in your wallet.
Stopping the city and Advance Disposal
Unless the city clerk receives more than 10,000 letters of protest (all from different residences and businesses) who are serviced by Advance Disposal or more than 10,000 people attend their public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, it looks like the City Council plans to approve increases in Advance Disposal rates to fund this privately-owned company’s expansion. This is in accordance with the city of Hesperia’s Notice of Public Hearing dated Dec. 21, 2011, and the Hesperia Star (Dec. 27, 2011, page A1).
Right off the bat, anyone can see that the proposed rates are unfair and slanted against those who have little to no trash for Advance Disposal to pick up. We all know that Advance Disposal and the city demand that the private company be paid even if and when residences have no trash to give to them. Therefore, each time a residence or business pays Advance Disposal for a service they did not need, Advance Disposal makes a large profit because they did nothing and are paid for it. These profits that Advance Disposal has enjoyed for many, many years are what Advance Disposal should utilize to expand its own private business. Yet, instead of utilizing their own money to expand and increase their net worth, they and the city believe it is “we the people” who are responsible to increase this company’s wealth.
With the current times of trouble, when many Hesperian’s have lost their jobs, and some having to take lower income positions just to feed their families or try to keep their homes, making them pay for a private companies expansion should not be even be considered by the people’s city council.
The first sentence of Notice of Public Hearing issued on Dec. 21, 2011 regarding this increase implies that Advance Disposal may not be conducting their business to meet state and federal mandates regarding recycling. If this is the case Advance Disposal should be found in default of their contract and a new disposal company should be given the contract. Hopefully one that will treat the public more honestly and fairly when it comes to billing for the amount each of us pay to disposal of our trash.
With regard to those who will place more than two trash cans out for pick-up and those with one can or less, the city and Advance Disposal are on the right track to charge those who dispose of more should pay more and those who dispose of less should pay less. But why are charges for those who dispose less only reduced by two dollars and those who dispose of more charged $3 more. Why isn’t it equal? Why not $3 extra for each can more than two and $3 less for each can less than two? Like I mentioned, this is heading in the right direction, but still this is not fair.
Our landfills charge by the weight of trash placed in them not by can. Therefore when picking up trash and determining how much each residence or business should be charged, a scale should be placed on Advance Disposal trucks and customers should be billed in accordance with the actual weight of their trash. This is the only fair way to charge people who all have different disposal needs. Therefore, no trash or weight, there would be no charge. Perhaps residences would only need to pay a small county fee that the disposal company now pays for each residence. Then the higher weight of your trash, the higher the charge. No more bringing in trash from places other than your home and getting it dumped for free along with your household trash.
On the reverse side of the Public Hearing Notice, in the second paragraph, last line, it states: “The City Council will not implement the rate increase should a majority written protest against the proposed increased fees be received on all identified parcels subject to the increase.” This should be something the City Council decides or based on the responses from their notice. This should only be considered as an initiative on an official voting ballot.
I believe the city wants to do this via a public hearing because it is likely to be approved because it is unrealistic to receive that many letters of protest or than many people to come to the hearing. Many people won’t bother to read the notice and many won’t send in official letters protesting. Again, the only way the proposal will fail is for the city to receive more than 10,000 letters of protest from residence or more than 10,000 people show up at the public hearing to protest. The best way the city can serve the people is to place this on an official election ballot.
Finally, I believe the city of Hesperia may want this to pass via public hearing instead of on an election ballot is because the city will also profit from Advance Disposal’s increased capabilities with regard to recycling. This is because within the contract between the city of Hesperia and Advance Disposal, Advance Disposal must pay the city 50 percent of the profits it gets from recycling. This is another good reason why this should not be approved via a public hearing and/or the City Council, but rather decided by voters.