The below letter was sent to Councilman Krekorian:
Last Friday, I had two “mafia-like” enforcers enter my office and tell me that if I wanted to continue to do business in my neighborhood, (your district 2), I would have to do business exclusively with them. They proceeded to give me extortion pricing for their services and told me I had no choice but to comply or I would face severe repercussions. They claimed that they represented a company called Waste Management, but clearly this is just a “mob-like” front since no legal private company is allowed a monopoly, price fixing, or threatening customers with repercussions if they don’t “buy” services. As they left, they mentioned that I would be hearing from their boss, a Mr. Garcetzioni or Garcetti, or something like that. The Justice Department has long prosecuted this kind of behavior, but they insisted it was now legal. I was left feeling incredibly upset with my rights violated.
In the case of my properties, all of which are in your district, my trash collection rates have skyrocketed as follows:
Magnolia Blvd (1) : $183.51 pre RecycLA, to $227.46, and now to $653.58 –a 356% increase.
Magnolia Blvd (2) : $183.51 pre RecycLA, to $227.46, and now to $653.58 – a 356% increase.
Burbank Blvd: $198.00 pre RecycLA, to $264.00, and now to $855.92 – a 432% increase.
Bloomfield St.: $91.27 pre RecycLA to $99.00, and now to $216.72 – a 237% increase.
Acama St: $103.40 pre RecycLA to $117.21, and now to $324.97 – a 314% increase.
Vineland Ave.: $91.69 pre RecycLA to $99.00, and now to $216.72 – a 237% increase.
Cahuenga Blvd.: $ 91.27 pre RecycLA to $99.00, and now to $216.72 – a 237% increase.
Riverton St.: $166.53 pre RecycLA to $194.00, now to $350.48 – a 210% increase.
Granting a monopoly to service an entire area should result in significantly lower costs to both property owners and trash haulers. However, you agreed to a fee structure that is utterly absurd, and then allowed the inclusion of penalties to property owners when they have little or no control over how tenants use the bins. 99.9% of property owners will face the same increases I am. Only those owners too lazy to manage and negotiate their trash service have received a marginally better rate. At the very least, you could have allowed two or three trash haulers to service a district to create some competition and allow owners to choose between them and negotiate their own rates. I have always been able to get favorable rates because I have multiple accounts near each other. When I asked about bulk rates the salesmen in my office laughed, and said it doesn’t matter what I want because I have no choice.
The program claims that it will reduce traffic congestion, but this is entirely untrue. The new trash service requires twice the truck trips they did before. In the case of one of the above buildings, instead of a truck coming 3 times a week, I will now have trucks coming 6 TIMES a week; 3 each for trash and 3 each for recycling pickups, and I pay 432% more for the inconvenience.
If these were non-rent controlled buildings I would promptly pass the cost on to the tenants and suggest that they call you directly if they don’t like it. But the buildings are rent controlled, and I am allowed only a 3% increase. The fact is that the increased trash cost alone consumes 2% of my allowable increase. How am I supposed to pay for seismic reinforcement, proposition HHH property tax increases, general property tax increases, DWP increases and the increase in minimum wage for repair staff? 3% doesn’t come close to covering it.
ARE YOU PREPARED TO ALLOW 6% INCREASES FOR RENT CONTROLLED BUILDINGS NEXT YEAR? If not, it means that I am the only one paying for the increased cost of trash collection. How is it fair that my family and I should exclusively bear the cost of your programs on behalf of several hundred people? And then be fined when they do not comply.
Comparing the RecycLA program to the mob is no joke. That’s exactly what it is; organized crime -extortion. And you are, at the very least, complicit. At some point you and the other councilmembers need take a clear look at the situation you have created admit that it was a mistake. Not only is creating a monopoly unethical, no aspect of this program actually delivers on the false promises promulgated by the Mayor, the Council, and the Sanitation Department. It’s honorable to say we did this with good intentions, but we did it the wrong way, and we need to make corrections.
This is a matter of principal, and fairness. I have never felt so abused by government as I did on Friday, when agents of a private company smugly told me I have not choice but to use them, too bad, and laugh in my face knowing they are ripping me off. The only thing missing from the mugging was a gun. Now the question is, do you work for the “mob”- (meaning the other elected officials) or do you have the integrity to do something about it? Sincerely, John J.
AOA: Please send a copy of this letter to Mayor Garcetti and every City Council member.
Mayor of Los Angeles
Eric Garcetti, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street Rm #303, Los Angeles, CA, 90012 – email@example.com – (213) 978-0600
Mailing address for All City Council Members
City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street (Rm #), Los Angeles, CA 90012
District 1 – Gil Cedillo: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 460 – (213) 473-7001 or (323) 550-1538
District 2 – Paul Krekorian: email@example.com or room 435 – (213) 473-7002 or (818) 755-7676
District 3 – Bob Blumenfield: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 415 – (213) 473-7003 or (818) 774-4330
District 4 – David Ryu: email@example.com or room 425 – (213) 473-7004 or (323) 957-6415
District 5 – Paul Koretz: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 440 – (213) 473-7005 or (323) 866-1828
District 6 – Nury Martinez: email@example.com or room 470 – (213) 473-7006 or (818) 778-4999
District 7 – Councilwoman Elect Monica Rodriguez: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 455 – (213) 473-7007 or (818) 756-8409
District 8 – Marqueece Harris- Dawson: email@example.com or room 450 – (213) 473-7008 or (213) 485-7616
District 9 – Curren Price: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 420 – (213) 473-7008 or (213) 485-7616
District 10 – Herb Wesson (President): email@example.com or room 430 – (213) 473-7010 or (323) 733-8233
District 11 – Mike Bonin: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 475 – (213) 473-7011 or (310) 575-8461
District 12 – Mitchell Englander (President pro tempore): email@example.com or room 405
District 13 – Mitch O’Farrell: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 480 – (213) 473-7013 or (213) 207-3015
District 14 – Jose Huizar: email@example.com or room 465 – (213) 473-7014 or (323) 526-9332
District 15 – Joe Buscaino: firstname.lastname@example.org or room 410 – (213) 473-7015 or (310) 732-4515