By Donna Westfall
Randall South is no stranger to Crescent City. “When I grew up here, Crescent City was prosperous, friendly and a great place to live. I’m appalled by the changes that have taken place. There is a lot more wrong with Del Norte County than just the Solid Waste Board. The courts are messed up, and creditors rights are marginalized to say the least, and this puts a chilling effect on small business that seeks to operate in this town. Recently I attended two Board meetings of Solid Waste to complain about the unjustified increase in rates by Recology.”
What’s going on?
Mr. South ordered trash pick-up service from Recology. He received a 20 gallon container and a free 96 gallon container for recyclables for which he pays a total of $20.69/month. That rate was just fine. However, recently, a frivolous complaint was turned in by Recology to Code Enforcement alleging that the South’s level of service of garbage exceeds the level of service that they’re paying for.
South says, “We denied it…. our garbage barely exceeds over 1/3 of the can.”
After receiving the Code Enforcement letter from Dave Mason, he received a certified letter from Director Tedd Ward essentially saying that he reviewed the whole thing and it was his determination that their garbage bill should be automatically raised.
When you order garbage service it’s a bilateral contract, not unilateral. If Recology says their rates are $20.69 a month the customer has the right to say, “Fine, I accept your terms so sign me up,”or “No, I don’t want your service.” And, you don’t have the Director of Solid Waste telling you that you’re going to pay more without doing a basic investigation into the matter.
Was this a single occurrence that has only happened to the South’s?
No, it’s not.
Other people in the community have experienced similar treatment, so Mr. South has been collecting affidavit’s from those people.
Randall South told The Board, “There’s a terminus when you have two or more people who agree on something to commit a fraud and it’s called conspiracy to commit fraud.”
So, he filed an appeal.
On November 10th, he went before THE BOARD and explained that he sent an email to Ron Gastineau who didn’t even have the decency to reply, simply turning it over to Tedd Ward. Mr. Ward explained to Chair Holley that Mr. South had not followed the process or the instructions provided to him, but they will consider the possibility of including the appeal on the next Authority agenda. South asked when that appeal would be on the agenda. He was told by Chairperson Rick Holley that it was not currently scheduled. That the Board would be deciding later in the week what will be put on the agenda.
Mr. South had the distinct impression it would most likely be addressed on the November 17th board meeting.
Now comes the November 17th Board meeting. The appeal was not put on the agenda. Again South got up during public comment to ask why his appeal was not on the agenda.
Chairperson Holley said they needed clarification.
WHAT? How complicated could this be?
I asked Mr. South what he hopes to see happen. His response, “When I lived here previously my family paid a private garbage collection company, who was completely trouble free, and exceptionally reliable. I’d like to see the JPA dissolved. I’d like to see Tedd Ward gone. I’d like to see a more responsive board.”
Anyone experiencing similar treatment by Code Enforcement, Recology or Solid Waste, please feel free to contact Randall South. In addition, this matter will be presented to the Crescent City – Del Norte County Taxpayer’s Association for their consideration.
Currently, his appeal is to be heard before The Board on December 15th.
South told the board, “This will be taken up with the Bureau of Government Claims. They know me well and I look forward to seeing Mr. Tedd Ward in court after they reject his claim.”