Jim Mastin: Do Not Privitize Our Garbage!

Mendocino County

To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

Dear Chair Brown,

Due to a series of meetings I must attend in Sacramento on Tuesday I am unable to personally address the Board regarding agenda item #5D (Review and Possible Adoption of Solid Wastes of Willits, Inc. Proposed Contract…). Please distribute my comments to the Board for their consideration.

As a resident of Mendocino County, former member of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority and as a candidate for supervisor I strongly oppose the proposed contract and urge a no vote by the Board of Supervisors.

Many areas of the proposal should be of immediate concern (i.e., eliminating bi-lingual educational materials, lack of diversion performance requirements, elimination of wood and yard waste recycling at the Albion Transfer Station, failure of many performance compliance issues, reported overcharging of over half its customers including all of its South Coast customers, and more).

I understand that the County cannot afford to subsidize transfer station operations and that privatizing the operation is one option.

Another way would be for the County to raise gate fees and cut expenses sufficiently to allow the transfer stations to break even. That’s what’s being offered by Solid Waste of Willits, but does not give away control of our county’s waste stream.

In choosing between these courses of action, I hope that you will keep the following points in mind:

1.  Giving long-term extensions to Solid Wastes of Willits for its franchise collection contracts is a major benefit to them. Would the County — and the public — get fair value, or any value, from this concession?

2.  Fifteen years is a long term for an exclusive solid waste contract, especially if it has automatic rate adjustments that could substantially boost the gate fee every year. Can anyone predict if the gate fee will fairly reflect the actual costs of operation five years or ten years into the contract?

3.  No private business should be given new or extended government contracts unless they have complied with the provisions of existing contracts.To do otherwise would be to sanction contract violations and ultimately not be in the best interest of the County or its residents.

Thank you for your consideration of this complex and important issue.


Jim Mastin

Candidate for 5th District Supervisor
DS: See also my post Stop The Garbage Grab Now!→