May 31, 2012
Citizens For A Fair Trash Contract (Citizens) has accepted a settlement offer from Consolidated Disposal Services (CDS). The settlement will end CDS and the City’s appeals of Superior Court Judge Andrew Banks’ ruling that the Los Alamitos City Council improperly awarded a $21 Million trash contract to CDS in violation of a city ordinance requiring the contract be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.
The settlement agreement calls for CDS and the City to drop their appeals of Judge Banks’ decision and pay $215,000 in Citizens’ legal fees and costs. Citizens in return will dismiss their case.
Citizens obtained the Superior Court ruling they sought; the contract was voided and ordered to be re-bid. Citizens always knew that, even if they won the lawsuit, the City Council majority could amend the operative ordinance to accomplish their apparent goal of awarding the contract to CDS. In his ruling granting Citizens’ petition, Judge Banks made it clear the City Council had great leeway in the re-bid process saying, “These are elected officials I trust they will do what they were elected to do…”
To no surprise, in February 2012 the City Council majority led by Mayor (and State Assembly Candidate) Troy Edgar amended the trash ordinance, removing the requirement that the contract be awarded to the “lowest responsible bidder,” then, in the same motion “re-affirmed and re-awarded” the contract to CDS. Residential, business and commercial ratepayers will continue to pay approximately $650,000 more per year than an award to the lowest responsible bidder.
Despite Citizens’ questions concerning the legality of the Council majority’s “re-award” of the contract to CDS, the City Council majority of Troy Edgar, Marilynn Poe and Ken Stephens appeared determined to award the trash contract to CDS. Therefore, continuing to pursue the litigation no longer made sense. Citizens accomplished its goal to expose the City Council majority’s violation of the law so the majority could not continue to falsely claim the award to CDS complied with the process required by the City’s ordinance.
Citizens is satisfied that the residents, businesses and voters of Los Alamitos can figure out for themselves the true motivations for the City Council majority’s “re-award” of the trash contract to CDS and hold them accountable at the ballot box.
Citizens For A Fair Trash Contract
Los Alamitos, CA