Claremont Insider: Claremont Insider is not only a Coward, it is a Thief: Sam Pedroza in His Own Words

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Claremont Insider is not only a Coward, it is a Thief: Sam Pedroza in His Own Words

Stolen shamelessly from the Foothill Cities Blog, here.

Claremont Councilmember Sam Pedroza was doing some heavy blogging on Friday and Saturday. Below we reproduce an exchange that appeared on the Footsy Blog:

Sam Pedroza: Working Man

By Centinel | September 4, 2008

A Claremont Insider reader wonders how Sam Pedroza goes to committee meetings during the day when he has a full-time job. Weird, how could that be? Oh, he works for the county. [this is Centinel; the Insider would never never make this mistake; See Sam's comment] Ah.

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Topics: Main Page, City Council, Claremont |
10 Responses to “Sam Pedroza: Working Man”

1. Uh Huh Says:
September 4th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Don’t blame it on the fact that he works for the County. Blame it on the fact that he is a “politician”.

2. Sam Says:
September 5th, 2008 at 4:48 am

FC Blog, Since the “Claremont Insider” is too cowardly to allow comments added to their postings [see our note at end of post--ed.], I just wanted to let you know that attending those meetings are part of my job. I am the Sanitation Districts representative to the Discovery Center. I would be more than happy to provide you with all the information you want on this great project that would benefit the entire San Gabriel Valley. Oh, and by the way the Sanitation Districts are not a County agency, a very common misunderstanding. The Sanitation Districts is a special district, much like a water or school district.

3. gilman Says:
September 5th, 2008 at 8:29 am

Well Sam is right…the Sanitation Districts is not a county agency. Instead, the Sanitation Districts operate under what is known as a “Joint Administration Agreement”. So while not a County agency, it is one of those mysterious entities that taxpayers know little about. A bureaucracy..I think yes, funded by local citizens…yes, funded through taxpayer dollars …yes, funded in part through the county….maybe, a county

Part of Mr. Pedroza’s position involves government relations, outreach and public relations…..perfect politician training.

With his expertise in trash/sanitation issues, maybe Mr. Pedroza can share with us why local cities continue to “sole source” their trash contracts and fail to perform any shopping, comparison or competitive bidding…..

4. Sam Says:
September 5th, 2008 at 11:34 am

Gilman, you are right in that we are a government agency that is fairly unknown, but then again most special districts are. We operate two essential services - wastewater and solid waste management. Wastewater is paid through a charge on the property tax bill and solid waste is an enterprise program that is paid directly through tipping fees charges paid at the gates. Those costs are absorbed as part of your trash collection bill. The Sanitation Districts do not operate trash collection, that is a service provided by private hauling companies (i.e. Athens and Waste Management) or by the cities themselves, (i.e. Claremont or City of Los Angeles). As we transition away from urban landfills to waste-by-rail programs the disposal costs go up and hauling contracts become much more competitive. In addition, increased regulatory measures increase operating costs making it much more challenging for the smaller companies. The Sanitation Districts have no position on the “sole source” issue however as a councilmember I could tell you that the costs and mandates of operating a hauling service is ever more challenging and that could explain why cities rather turn that service over to the private sector. I would imagine that sole sourcing brings convenience and organization. I’m sure that if our city proaches the subject we will become much more informed on the process. You are also correct in that the trash industry is very political but quite frankly its not the type of politics that helps me in Claremont.

5. Uh Huh Says:
September 5th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Spoken like a true politician.

6. gilman Says:
September 6th, 2008 at 7:55 am

Thanks Sam for the detailed posting…I think it helps the average citizen better understand the folks that are representing them.

As for the sole source issue, I probably did a poor job of posting my question….let me try again.

Certainly, using only one major trash service provider has it’s benefits…but the question is -
Should local governments award exclusive franchise agreements, or any other contract for services, without conducting any shopping, sending out any requests for proposals, or conducting any open and competitive bidding?

This issue might even be something to bring up with your contacts at the County and State level…I think legislation mandating that local cities must conduct an open and competitive bidding process before awarding these contracts
may help…what are your thoughts?

7. Seedy Watch Says:
September 6th, 2008 at 9:39 am

The fact of the matter or this topic is, local government management employees are lazy and want to take the easy way out on any project that is put before them to solve.

Completing the project with the least amount of effort and most politicial brownie points is the main goal, for each brownie point equeats to MORE money in their pay packages!

Problem solved.

8. Sam Says:
September 6th, 2008 at 11:33 am

While I could see the concept of sole sourcing contracts where there are no alternatives, such as placing ads in a local paper, in general most contracts ought to go through an RFP process. But just mandating an RFP process is not enough, appropriate weights with appropriate questions need to be asked. You need smart staff to come up with a smart RFP. Then you need a smart decision making body to make the decision. More mandates could shortcut a lot of this, such as having to take the lowest bid. Remember, you get what you pay for.

9. Seedy Watch Says:
September 6th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Looking at the whole process is not like inventing the WHEEL all over again but this seems to be the feeling in general when is come to following through with a simple task.

Could it be caliber of city staffing is below the level it was years ago, when a can do attitude was the norm and ecpected?

Lets not forget with this NEW caliber of staffing we have to PAY them more to do LESS!

That climb up the corporate ladder even inside local government knows no speed limits.

10. gilman Says:
September 6th, 2008 at 8:14 pm


I agree that having a bright staff and a smart Council are ideal, unfortunately that is often simply not the case. It is the average taxpayer who suffers the results….if a mechanism was in place where some form of shopping was required on these huge “trash service” agreements, it might help.

If nothing else, the average citizen could review these clearly public records and observe how the city/elected officials were spending THEIR money and conducting THEIR business.

Under the current guidelines, massive contracts are being awarded with no transparency and no public involvement until after the contract is awarded…..i.e., the uproar over the way Athens has been awarded various contracts throughout Southern California.

Additionally, the current system is ripe with abuse, potential fraud and financial “priming”. Local officials who support these contracts often receive large campaign donations, while those who support shopping do not?

[Note: We don't get too much email from Sam Pedroza here at the Insider. But we believe we are batting 1.000 in printing the ones we do receive. Our humble forum is always open to our local elected officials. We reprint below an email we received from Sam on August 22, 2007:

Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 10:24:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: "sam"
Subject: Claremont Insider : Why are We Here?

sam has sent you a link to a blog:

weak response, if you are just providing another view then why hide... just another coward.

Blog: Claremont Insider Post: Why are We Here? Link:

He seems to want to keep that whole "coward" motif going. Better grammar and punctuation this time though. Keep 'em coming! Thanks to "Uh huh", "gilman", and "Seedy Watch", as well as Sam, for their contributions.]