Cypress Trash Company requests 10% – 17% rate increase

(Cypress, Ca, March 11, 2017, by Dave Emerson)  Valley Vista Services wants to raise Cypress residents’ trash rates 10% due to “unanticipated costs.”  That’s in addition to any Consumer Price Index related increase.

And that’s actually the “good news.”  Valley View wants to raise their rates for Cypress businesses by 17%!

Here’s a summary from Cypress’ diligent citizen watchdog George Pardon:


Monday night’s Cypress City Council Agenda item 13  is both shocking and of great concern. Valley Vista Services (VVS) has requested an extraordinary rate increase of 10 percent for residential rates and 17 percent for commercial rates in addition to any annual CPI adjustment.

The agenda item proposes to establish a City Council Ad-Hoc Committee to study Valley Vista Services’ request for a Solid Waste Franchise Extraordinary Rate Increase.  Valley Vista Services requested the extraordinary rate increase citing unanticipated costs associated with their operation including bulky item collection, special services such as graffiti removal, and the establishment of local solid waste operation facilities.  VVS reports its costs to operate have exceeded their original estimates when they proposed to serve Cypress.

At this point the City Council is only being asked to appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the request, and to hire a consultant to assist in the investigation.  I’m wondering if that’s really necessary, or if the Council could  just say no to the rate increase, without spending taxpayer dollars on a consultant.

Interestingly enough, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission levied the highest fine allowed for political money laundering against George Briggeman, who runs Valley Vista’s Cypress operations in October of 2015 for dealings with two current Cypress City Council Members, Mariellen Yarc and Rob Johnson.   According to an article in the Orange County Register,

Continue reading

Los Alamitos City Council re-elects Richard Murphy as Mayor

In this 2012 News Enterprise photo Richard Murphy was sworn in by City Clerk Windmera Quintanar. Last night he was sworn in as Mayor for the second year in a row!

(Los Alamitos, 12/22/2015) by Dave Emerson:  In a first for this millennium, Los Alamitos’ City Council re-elected the same Mayor for the second year in a row.  And it was unanimous, reflecting the strong support Mayor Murphy has attracted within a Council that had been bitterly divided for almost a decade prior to Murphy’s election in 2012. The Council’s newest member, Shelley Hasselbrink, was unanimously elected Mayor Pro Tem.

Which means that a year from now, Council Member Hasselbrink will probably become only the fifth woman Mayor in Los Alamitos history.

The big surprise revealed to City Council Members, the City Manager, and City Attorney in an e-mail early Monday morning was Continue reading

Los Alamitos Traffic Commission votes to remove no left turn sign & move crosswalk

03/19/14 Heading westbound on Katella at 4:10 with one lane closed between Bloomfield and the LAMC. This shot was taken after five light changes at Bloomfield.

The Commissioners prefaced their meeting with ballons and a Happy Birthday song to Los Alamitos City Engineer Dave HuntcC

Correction:  This post originally reported erroniously that a stop sign was to be removed at the Post Office drive-through exit.   (Los Alamitos, 1/28/2015)  At this month’s Los Alamitos Traffic Commission Meeting, after singing Happy Birthday to Dave Hunt, choosing new officers, and reviewing how the Commission functions,  the 2015 Commissioners got right to work improving local traffic flow.

First, they voted 6-1 to move the crosswalk at Katella and Cherry from the east side of Cherry to the West side.   All agreed this was likely to improve traffic flow by removing the current obstruction by pedestrians to traffic turning left from Cherry (south) onto Katella.  Staff and several commissioners had taken the time to observe traffic at the intersection, and all agreed that the resulting impediment to cars turning right would be considerably less.  New Commissioner Seaman was the sole negative vote, apparently out of concern that Continue reading

OC snow & Christmas tree disposal

Reader photo of  snow this morning in the Orange County foothills

Reader photo of snow this morning in the Orange County foothills

(Los Alamitos, 12/31/2014)  As we’ll be telling shortly, we have readers all over Orange County (actually all over the world).  This morning one of our readers woke up to snow covered mountains, right here in the OC.  Here’s one of the photos she sent us. “Nature’s New Year’s Eve gift to Orange County” she wrote.

Our White Christmas may have come late, and so will trash pick-up in Los Alamitos’ this week.  So there’s no need to put your trash cans out tonight.  And if you’ve got company, we’re told they can leave their cars on the street on Friday without getting a street sweeping ticket.  Of course, if you can pull the cars  into the driveway,  then put the trash cans on the driveway apron, you’ll have a cleaner street.

As for those Christmas trees, Continue reading

Los Alamitos Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years’ trash pick-up. . .

Trash cans
Trash cans

Trash out 1 day later, street sweeping day doesn’t change, probably not enforced.

(11/262014). . . will be on Friday, not Thanksgiving Day.  The same applies to all West OC Communities, including Cypress, Rossmoor, and Seal Beach:  If Thursday is your normal trash pick-up day, put your trash out Thursday night after you’ve had your turkey.  Those with Friday pick-up, it’s been moved back to Saturday this week.

That puts street sweeping in Los Al SFR neighborhoods on the same day as trash pick-up, Friday, unless they get a 4 day weekend.  Usually there isn’t any no parking enforcement when trash and street sweeping are the same day,   so your holiday guests won’t have to worry.  Same drill on Christmas and New Year’s this year, which also fall on a Thursday.

Household Hazardous Waste pick-up for Los Alamitos will be this coming Wednesday (a week from today), but you have to call Consolidated by Monday or Tuesday at the latest to request a pick-up.  562 347-2100.

click here to comment, diplomatically of course: Continue reading

Cypress Council set to ratify new trash contract Monday, 9/22


(Cypress, 9/21/2014) 9/22 update:  According to Cypress’ Recreation & Community Services Director June Liu, “the new first year revenue number is going to be lower than WDCO’s total.”  

The good news is that Cypress did negotiate additional concessions from the Council majority’s preferred trash franchisee, Valley Vista Services.

The bad news is the bottom line for the City still would have been better had the City Council chosen to go with the lowest qualified bidder, WDCO.  And we’ll never know how much lower WDCO might have gone had the Council majority followed the common sense negotiating approach of negotiating with at least two of the firms submitting proposals, as Mayor Mills and Council Member Nahrain wanted.

The bottom line is that Valley Vista’s revised Proposal now is somewhat lower than low bidder WDCO’s original cost to ratepayers and about 40% closer to WDCO’s total annual payments back to Cypress.  That’s a good start, but WDCO still would pay the City almost a million dollars more over the ten year term of the contract.

If this were a real estate transaction & I was still a broker & was representing the City, at this point I’d recommend going back to at least two of the 7 bidders, including low bidder WDCO and request a “best and final offer.”

One would hope the Cypress City Council would at least “sharpen Continue reading