July 31, 2017 marked the date when Free Enterprise in Los Angeles received a blow no rational business owner could or would have thought possible.
Clearly the only way such an assault on the rights of business owners is possible, was by the means taken by the City of Los Angeles.
The process to change the method of commercial trash pickup began five years ago and the Exclusive Trash Franchise Ordinance was adopted two years ago; yet it was not until 19 days before its implementation were a small percentage of business owners made aware of the change. A change where just seven handpicked companies were given the exclusive rights to pick up all commercial trash in the 11 zones created within the City of Los Angeles; a change that would strip business owners of their right to hire the best company for the best price; the change that would void contracts which spanned decades and had not only developed strong working relationships but friendships as well.
By the City’s own admission, of the 350,000 business in Los Angeles, only 28,000 had been informed of the policy change as of June 12, 2017, just 19 days before the July 1st start date.
Of the 90,000 commercial trash customers, only 8,000 had received waste assessments with only 2,000 signing agreements. “Signing Agreements”? When you are stripped of your rights and forced by law to use the provider the city assigns to you or you lose your ability to do business in the City of Los Angeles, that is an agreement under duress!
On “Friday July 28th, Judge Hon. Maren E. Nelson in Department 307, denied the (Apartment Owners Association of California, Inc.) Plaintiffs motion for a Temporary Restraining Order. The TRO would have allowed current non-franchise haulers to continue operation and retain the original trash fees. The hearing date for the Injunction is set for October 30, 2017 in Dept. 307.
Without the TRO, Non-Franchise Haulers will cease to pick up in the City of Los Angeles effective July 31, 2017. Without the TRO the rate increases of 100% to 500% will be forced on the Commercial Waste Customers of Los Angeles.
As the trash begins to pile up and goes uncollected, Los Angeles businesses and residents may want to look at those who were elected to represent them in a different light. Nothing good comes from keeping those impacted most, in the dark.
David Hernandez is the Chairman of the Committee for Accountability and Good Government in Los Angeles. He may be reached at 818 448-3403.