Recently, a resident mentioned the irony of garbage surrounding my campaign sign on which I promise to improve the quality of life in Palmdale. He’s right and I agree that the trash in our community has to be addressed. It’s one of my top priorities.
The crime reduces property values and threatens the desert eco system. The majority of the perpetrators are residents who ignore city codes by refusing to have a waste collection service, unlicensed contractors, and unlicensed junk removal services.
During my present term, we negotiated a contract with Waste Management that included the acquisition of an impressive piece of heavy equipment that scoops up and disposes of large piles of waste. The acquisition is an important step in cleaning up the desert but we need to do more to stop the crime from occurring in the first place.
My plan includes, increased fines for illegal dumping, identifying and residents without waste removal accounts, drafting ordinances that require anyone hiring a contractor or junk removal service to obtain a legitimate disposal receipt, surveillance equipment at known hot spots and dedicated task forces to identify and prosecute violators.
There is no shortage of citizens who are outraged by the disgraceful and destructive violation of our deserts but they are frustrated by the lack of follow up and prosecution. I plan to recruit volunteers from the community who would work in cooperation with the city to identify and report violations. Funding a dedicated attack would come from sources such as grants and increased fines and by shifting budget priorities.
Unfortunately, since COVID-19, the problem has drastically increased. Although clean up times are currently slower than we would like, residents are encouraged to keep reporting violations.