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Mayor’s Trash Pickup Plan Met With Resistance

A plan by Mayor Jerry Sanders to eliminate trash pickup on private roads ran into resistance today from two city councilmen.

The mayor wants to terminate agreements with 102 homeowners' associations and property managers that limit the city's liability for accidents on the private roadways. Refuse trucks cannot enter private property without the contracts.

Cancellation of the deals would be effective July 1 and save the city more than $1.2 million in the next fiscal year, according to the mayor's office. Ownership groups would then have to contract with private trash haulers.

"I don't believe this is right," Councilman Carl DeMaio said at a meeting of the City Council Natural Resources and Culture Committee.

Under the People's Ordinance, adopted in 1919 and amended in a public vote in 1986, residents confirmed their right to free garbage collection, DeMaio said.

San Diego is one of three cities in California -- El Monte and Newport Beach being the others -- that provide the service for free.

DeMaio asked the City Attorney's Office to determine whether the City Council has the prerogative to make the mayor enforce the liability agreements.

City Councilman David Alvarez pointed out that nearly all of the private roadways in his district are inside mobile home parks where many low-income residents live.

City officials did not know how many of the agreements are with mobile home parks and the amount with wealthier gated communities.

The item was presented to the committee only for information, so no action was taken. The city plans to mail notification to the affected properties on Friday.

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