Open Letters to Mayor Garcetti and L.A. City Council Members 

Dear Mr. Mayor:

I have enclosed an article from the AOA magazine for you to read if you haven’t already.  The position of this organization is my position and I am in concert with their requests of you.

I feel that the city has unilaterally taken away our rights as business owners, with no recourse, to hire trash service companies that meet our individual needs.  This new arrangement smacks of collusion between local government and trash service providers to monopolize this industry in L.A. and control pricing.  This trash fiasco is an egregious act of corruption, extortion and blackmail.  Totally criminal!

My contract with Waste Management which runs through December of 2018 was cancelled, by God knows who, without my approval.  Then, my new service provider, Athens Services, informs me that for the same service, my fees will be increased $200 per month.  This is a 34% increase!  I am forced to pay or have no trash pickup and I cannot go and hire any other company.  What!?? Is this some form of semi-extortion?  Sure feels like it.

This is anti-business and anti-American.  I earnestly hope you will take heed of the seriousness of this unacceptable situation and work with business owners to come up with a compromise.  I cannot imagine what would happen to me and my business if I operated the way the city has – I’d be sued to the high heavens and probably lose my enterprise.  You have to feel our pain and sincere disappointment in this arrangement.  Something needs to be done.   Steven Matilla

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti:

I was born in 1927 in the city of Los Angeles long before you and your fellow council members and the mayor. I served in the Signal Corps during WW II. I have worked hard and been a model citizen. In my retirement years I purchased an eight unit, rent controlled building in Studio City with the help of Chase Bank who owns more than half. The council past a ruling requiring that we retrofit the building for present earth quake standards. We have now completed more than 90% of the project at a cost of $107,200.00. I felt that it was necessary for the safety of my tenants, and was able to borrow funds to do the construction. The City, in making the requirement, made no attempt to help by finding us low interest money.

 

Now you passed a new law giving seven trash companies a monopoly. First you put all of their competition out of business, most of whom were small companies and adding to unemployment. Now that they have control they can charge what ever they want. We no longer have freedom of choice and must pay whatever they ask. What were you thinking?

I have enclosed a copy of the new bill which has increased more than 100% and that I am sure is just a start. I feel that you should contribute to the increased cost. I will look forward to your check every month. With your salary you can afford it better than I.      David Gold

 

Mr. Mayor:

I own and live in a four-unit property where I rent the other three units. My trash bill under the RecycLA program has gone from just over $76/month to just over $417/month. The city is not giving me an opportunity to opt out of the service nor convert from private haul to city haul. I also think that it would be equally unfair to pass this high cost onto my tenants just as it’s unfair to me. I probably won’t be able to pass the costs onto the tenants anyway since the property is under rent stabilization. In total, my trash bill will go from $920/annually to $5,010/annually. That’s 5.5-times what I’m paying now or roughly a 450% increase, which is unconscionable and unfair.  Ramy Williams

 

Dear Mayor Garcetti and Greg Good:

Perhaps five years ago, the City Council adopted a program which was supported, engineered and produced by our friends at LANE.  The County Federation of Labor was a strong and essential supporter.  It was agreed that under no circumstances would the cost of trash hauling removal be great than 3% per year.  It was agreed that many small family-owned apartment complexes had insufficient “space” to accommodate several “bins”.  Additionally, the “super-large”, fully unionized trash haulers who successfully obtained a winning bid would be responsible for sorting the trash and reclaimable items of trash would be sorted at the trash haulers’ facilities.  Again, all recycling would occur at the trash haulers’ facilities.  This was the deal proposed and offered by our friends at LANE.

It now appears that small businesses, condominium associations, apartment owners and others are seeing invoices wherein the trash expenses are being increased by 400% or more.  Week by week, there are numerous complaints that apparently, the trash hauling companies are failing to establish a “standard route” and are not retrieving or picking up the trash!  We’re very disappointed.

Housing Crisis:  Many of these small family-owned apartment complexes are going to be offered for sale.  Apartment owners cannot tolerate or accept repressive, over-restrictive municipal regulations.  They will simply sell the buildings and allow the buildings to be demolished and new “luxury” units to be built in their place.  Simple. So rather than promote affordable or very inexpensive housing, the County Federation of Labor, LANE and apparently some individuals at the Mayor’s office are going to be the “instruments” of destruction of housing!

The apartment owners and others negotiated in good faith and we are very disappointed with this arrangement.  It’s time for us to get a cup of coffee and meet.  Very truly yours, Michael Millman, Esq.

 

Sent to All Elected Officials:

The recent decision by the City of Los Angeles to limit trash pick up (at multi-family apartment complexes) to just a handful of companies is simply self- serving and wrong.  What part of the American system of free markets, free enterprise, property rights and personal choice has escaped your level of consciousness?

Do you honestly believe that what you have initiated with respect to this matter is consistent with the values this great County?  The ideals of free markets is a great part of what America was founded on (and has prospered with) for more than two centuries.  Tearing away the rights of property owners to choose the best and most economical service providers for their situations is not only wrong, it is a slap in the face of the very ideals of being an American.

Do you end with the trash hauling business or do you later decide what electricians, plumbers or roofers are allowed to work in the City and to the determent of all other licensed service providers?   Don’t toss this comment off as “nonsense” until you honestly take a hard look at what you have initiated with the trash hauling companies.  There is really no difference and rationalizing that you are doing the “right thing” only becomes much easier with the slow and insidious stripping away of the rights of others.

I implore all elected officials to take a step-back and recall what it means to be an American, to live in this great country and to prosper from the incredible benefits if offers to everyone.  Being an elected official means you are mandated to foster the protection of the rights of ALL citizens of this City (not just the ones who vote for you).  Please reconsider and reverse the decision to snuff out free-enterprise and allow free choice of service providers to resume once again in the City of Los Angeles.  I remain, Respectfully yours, Jim Schnieders, RN, CLPF  

 

How Do Small Providers Survive?

What is being done to counteract this trash franchise zone situation? My bill with Recology L.A. was $156.05 and has now increased to $433.22 per month. I am being charged $216.00 ($108 X2) to move the regular dumpster, and the now proposed recycle dumpster, out from the back of the building so that it can be emptied. How is it that the city can impose such a system that controls, dictates, what the property owner can and cannot do to service their building? Maybe it should be proposed that the City Council, and the county, should compensate the property owner by decreasing the property taxes since along with the rent control we are providing welfare to tenants, which is rightfully the domain of the county. With the seismic retrofit and now this and the fact that they  do not even offer any program to assist the owners to get these things done, how do we small providers survive?   Luisa S.

 

Los Angeles, CA:  It has been unanimously voted by apartment owners and business owners in Los Angeles that the following restrictions are immediately mandated for Mayor Garcetti and members of the City Council.

REFRESHMENTS/LUNCH:   Coffee, snacks and lunch may only be purchased from “Dan’s Deli”, a newly opened business in the general vicinity.  (Black coffee is $10.75 a cup – cream and sugar may be purchased for an additional fee.  Menu prices are non-negotiable.)

DRY CLEANING:  Dry cleaning services are restricted and have been awarded to “Triple-Price Dry Cleaning” – a local business offering “special” rates to elected officials.  (Hangers and clothing protection covering may also be purchased for an additional fee.  Prices are non-negotiable.)

PARKING:  – “By-The-Second” Parking Garage has received the contract to house all elected officials’ vehicles.  The Mayor and City Council members will immediately be required to use only this facility. Prices vary depending on the size and make of each vehicle with a beginning rate of $10 per second.  Again, prices have been appropriately dictated and are non-negotiable.)

All profit from these new businesses will be evenly distributed to housing providers with controlled rent increases to help them meet the increased cost of trash-hauling services.

 

[AOA:  Please make a copy of these letters and send it to the Mayor and other City Council members. Mayor Eric Garcetti: mayor.garcetti@lacity.org, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, 90012 – phone number 213-978-0600.  Thank you, Dan Faller]