BY DONNA WESTFALL
It’s not often we get to witness a government agency closing or changing its structure in the hopes of reducing costs so that the consumer will be paying less. Currently, Del Norte County has some of the highest tipping fees in the State of California. That just doesn’t makes any sense. Witnessing the closing down of this JPA will be a welcome change particularly when the consumer sees rates drop.
Per Supervisor 1st District, Roger Gitlin; “Though well-intentioned, The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority has devolved to become just another layer of bureaucracy. Indeed, the Authority and the Joint Powers Agreement which operates it has long since outlived its purpose. Consumers are paying higher fees to remove their waste products than comparable communities without a Solid Waste Management Authority. It is time to remove this layer of bureaucracy, supplant it with an expanded Code Enforcement Department to file necessary paperwork to the State and monitor the landfill, and pass these substantial savings on to the consumers. Trash rates will decline and services will not be compromised. Del Norte County opting out of the JPA is overdue. I am hopeful the City of Crescent City will likewise see the wisdom of opting out of the Agreement.”
A Joint Powers Authority (JPA) is indeed a separate layer of bureaucracy. For years elected officials like Supervisors Martha McClure, Leslie McNamer, City Council members like Kelly Schellong and Kathryn Murray would pay themselves to sit on the Board year in and year out. Indeed, one of the prime reasons for creating the 10 member super committee was to stop the $300+/month stipend each received, saving $22,500 a year.
Recently, the City of Crescent City pulled out of Tri Agency Economic Development. The days of participating in an essentially broke organization no longer made any sense. So too, the Solid Waste JPA is another organization that no longer makes any sense.
Complaining that there’s no one to sign an agreement with a towing company in order to tow 6 cars seems petty. If that’s a high priority, it’s time for the city and the county to make the hard decisions already. It will take 3 members of each board (County Board of Supervisors and City Council members) or a total of 6 votes to change the structure. Will the members of the super committee finally put this issue to rest?
Isn’t it time to get to the bigger issues like creating industries and jobs so we can put people to work? It’s time to do things differently. What are they waiting for?