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Wednesday, Dec 04 2013 10:50 PM

LAFCo upholds decision to recognize four GHCSD powers

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Paul J. Benz, of Benz Sanitation, makes one final plea to the Local Agency Formation Commission board members to rescind their ruling stating the Golden Hills Community Service District has the power to contract additional solid waste pick-up services. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Members of the Golden Hills Community Service District, including general manager Bill Fisher and board president Laura Lynne Wyatt await the decision by the Local Agency Formation Commission as to whether the district has the power to contract additional solid waste pick-up services Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the Kern County Board of Supervisors Chambers. The LAFCo board reaffirmed that the CSD does have those powers. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

County Supervisor, and Local Agency Formation Commission chairman Zack Scrivner explains his reluctance to rescind the commission's earlier decision affirming the Golden Hills Community Service District's ability to contract a competing trash hauling company. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

The eight members of the Local Agency Formation Commission board who were present at Wednesday's meeting voted in favor of upholding the board's March 27, 2013, decision to recognize four powers of the Golden Hills Community Services District, including solid waste management.

Opposition to the initial determination sprang from employees and owners of Benz Sanitation — the company under contract with the County of Kern to provide trash hauling services to the Golden Hills community — and Golden Hills residents disgruntled by the process by which the GHCSD began taking over curbside refuse services.

With the reinstated support of LAFCo behind them, the GHCSD board of directors will continue moving forward with the district's contract with J. Torres Company to provide trash hauling services to community members beginning in April 2014. (Read the story HERE)

Commissioner David Couch said he anticipated the case to move into litigation, regardless of the vote.

"I think we're going to end up back here anyway," he said prior to the commission's decision.

LAFCo Chairman and 2nd District Supervisor Zack Scrivner was the first of the commissioners to voice support of the case made by GHCSD. He acknowledged his ties to both sides of the aisle, but said he was obligated to uphold the law.

One by one, each of the commissioners expressed agreement with Scrivner, though some more reluctantly than others, and followed through with a vote to close out the nearly four-hour meeting.

For more details on the issues presented at the meeting and further developments, pick up a copy of the next Tehachapi News edition on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

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