One resident made his way to the podium at last week's board of directors meeting to speak out against the Golden Hills Community Service District's recent decision to take over its solid waste handling.
Larry Christy, Operations Manager for Benz Sanitation and resident of Golden Hills, told the district's that he was concerned about what it's doing and reminded them that residents voted against the district managing its own solid waste collection in October 2010.
"I am out here today as a citizen because this was already voted down approximately three years ago," he said. "And the more research I do, it really starts to concern me."
Director's heard Christy out, but said they were not allowed to discuss the particulars of the current request for proposal drawn up HF&H Consultants and recently released to bidders.
"They don't care what people think," Christy said. "They have never provided these services (trash) and now they are saying they do. They're not even a CSD, they're a water company, and that's my problem."
Christy said he's also concerned about the livelihoods that could be affected by the board's decision to move away from its current county-provided trash pickup through Tehachapi-based Benz Sanitation.
Christy said he estimates that up to four local jobs could be lost if Benz loses its ability to continue to service Golden Hills.
Nevertheless, director Ed Kennedy said that the district is moving ahead with its RFP process.
"We believe this is best for our residents," he said. "We are looking forward to this and it's going to be an opportunity for our people to experience an option for different services."
Kennedy also announced that the district is providing an opportunity for residents to find out more about the RFP process.
There will be a pre-proposal meeting to explain the process of the Golden Hills Solid Waste Collection Request for Proposal at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Golden Hills CSD building, 21415 Reeves St.
The meeting, which is mandatory for all potential bidders, will be conducted by HF&H and is open to the public.
Additionally, there will be an informational workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Golden Hills CSD building, 21415 Reeves St. The public is welcome to attend. An exact time is yet to be determined for the evening meeting.
Kennedy said any other questions regarding the RFP process should be directed to HF&H, who has made the RFP available for viewing on its website at hfh-consultants.com/GHCSD/.
Meanwhile, Benz Sanitation has requested that the Kern County Local Agency Formation Commission review and reconsider a list of services that the Golden Hills Community Services District is authorized to provide at their regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Kern County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1115 Truxton Ave. in Bakersfield.
LAFCO granted the district the power to manage its own solid waste management on May 31, 2013 after finding no evidence that it had never divested itself from those powers that it was granted by the County Board of Supervisors in 1966.
Benz is challenging that decision, saying that the district has never provided curbside trash collection, therefore rendering those powers inactive as described in SB-135-Kehoe, which states that any services not actively being provided by a district at the end of 2005, even those listed in their formation would then become latent powers.