As a Golden Hills resident, I've been disappointed by the recent events surrounding the Golden Hills Community Services District. I am confident that many of my neighbors feel the same.
Now you may think that my disappointment stems from the same anger expressed by many at the latest CSD meetings but frankly, it does not. I am not upset specifically about the decision by Golden Hills to perform a hostile takeover of the solid waste services in our community. I am not upset about the impact to Benz Sanitation. I believe this latest mess is just a symptom of a larger problem.
For some time now, I've seen Golden Hills CSD attempting to take a greater and greater role in the lives of its residents. Part of me wants to welcome this change as I believe the community has been largely neglected since I moved here 18 years ago. I would welcome more local control. I would welcome changes like a local police force and the better public spaces I've seen created in the City of Tehachapi over the last several years.
Based upon conversations with my neighbors and with others friends who live in Golden Hills, I know that there are at least a large handful of others that think like me.
So, if there are at least some of us who'd like to see more local leadership and control in Golden Hills, then why am I so disappointed with the solid waste problem? Because I believe this symptom is just evidence of the larger lack of leadership. Leaders listen to others. They take in information from a variety of sources, make logical decisions, and then inspire others to follow their lead. The current CSD "leadership" has done nothing of the sort. From what I can tell, there is no good reason to get into the trash business. It is not part of a larger community driven plan to take control of our own destiny. It is not because the residents of Golden Hills were begging for this change (quite the opposite in fact).
I do believe change needs to occur within the Golden Hills community. I'd love to see sidewalks developed so that children and families aren't walking in the street along Westwood. I'd like to have better recreational spaces that my own kids and grandchildren could enjoy. I'd frankly like to see the junk in my neighbor's yard cleaned up.
Unfortunately, these services are not being offered. What good will saving $3 a month on trash do for me as a resident? How will that improve my quality of life? It won't.
To be honest, I'd rather just see our community be annexed into the city. We've already grown together so that most people don't know where the city leaves off and Golden Hills begins. And it doesn't mean that we have to become part of the downtown core. What it might mean is that we could have trash service at the current city rate. We could have a local police force. We could work with leaders to develop park and recreational spaces like the ones being built in the city. In fact, there would really be no more need for a secretion district. It could be folded into the city.
It's a radical idea, I know. But as a resident of Golden Hills, I want more than I'm getting now. I don't believe our current CSD board can provide that or they would have already. Let's not duplicate efforts but work together with the leaders in the city to improve our community.
TERRY MOODY lives in Golden Hills.