Chamber No Longer Wants to Raise Funds for Trash

Share Story

Library will no longer have extra trash pickup sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

No More Trash Pickup for Green, Marquez, Library

The Business Improvement District will not pay to pick up trash in the Village Green, Marquez Business District, or the Palisades library, starting January 1.

At a meeting held at the Chamber of Commerce on November 7, BID members were told by legal counsel, they could not send out a mailing asking for residents to help defray the cost to pay for Chrysalis to pick up the trash and sweep the streets in those areas.

Annually between 2002 and 2017, the Chamber of Commerce had sent letters to residents asking for help for trash cleanup, generally raising $30,000 (with $7,500 from realtor Michael Edlen). The Chamber, under new management, has nixed any trash pickup citing new bylaws. The remaining money in a trash account was given to the BID in May.

Although that money, combined with the BID assessment money was able to keep the trash picked up, without the “Chamber” donation, the BID cannot continue to pay for the Green, Marquez or library AND by law cannot because it is outside of the district.

Arnie Wishnick

As former Palisadian-Post editor Bill Bruns explained in a November 5 email, “I followed the Chamber’s fundraising for Chrysalis every year after its inception. This is all they did, but still raised about $30,000 a year: Arnie and the Chamber president crafted the same fundraising plea/letter every year and sent it out by snail mail to their Chamber mailing list, which included the entire community (same list they used to mail the directory every year). Then Arnie would open the envelopes that came in, usually containing $25, $50 and $100, year after year, and take them to the bank.


“They didn’t strong-arm any of the merchants around the Village Green, and in fact most of them (Starbucks, for example), blew it off,” Bruns wrote. “The Chamber could send that same letter in early December and I’ll bet they would still raise $20,000.”

Not a chance.

Nicole Howard, who represents the Chamber of Commerce on BID said, “The mission statement of the Chamber is for business only.”

A member of the BID board asked, “but doesn’t having the Palisades trash-free promote business?”

Rick Lemmo, Rick Caruso’s Vice President of Corporate Relations, said the Palisades Chamber will no longer facilitate trash pickup from the library, Village Green or the Marquez Business District.

Lemmo had said at the May meeting, “The Chamber is not a trash organization,” and suggested at this meeting, “We should take this over to PRIDE.”

Attorney David Peterson was clear that the BID, which is funded through the assessment of the district, needs stay within the district, and that fundraising for areas outside of the district was not legal.

Circling the News asked if the BID could take outside donations, such as the money given to it by the Chamber of Commerce, which it accepted earlier.

That was unclear, but Lemmo who is also the president of the board for the Glendale BID (Downtown Glendale Association), said they hold fundraisers for an auditorium located in the middle of the Glendale BID.


This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Chamber No Longer Wants to Raise Funds for Trash

  1. Marge Gold says:

    How puzzling that the Chamber of Commerce no longer sees the importance of keeping the garbage cans in the community from overflowing. That can’t be good for promoting the businesses.

  2. perry akins says:

    I will be dropping my Chamber membership. Not what I signed up for.

  3. John Wilson says:

    I will be dropping my membership in the Palisades Chamber and I will no longer donate my $1,000 to help clean up the trash in the streets that the City should be doing anyway.

    I will also encourage each of my Marquez tenants to drop their membership as soon as possible.
    John Wilson

  4. Patty Dobrowitsky says:

    Can you please tell us who was involved in this decision?

  5. Sue says:


    That would be a question to ask the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce executive board. At the BID meeting Chamber members Rick Lemmo and Nicole Howard voiced the same sentiment that the Chamber would focus strictly on business.


  6. Barbara Marinacci says:

    I wish a photo had been shown of the solitary trashcan outside of the library premises and next to the street, instead of that attractive one of the handsome entryway! Often when I see that receptacle (I’m a frequent library visitor) it’s filled above the brim, even spilling over with papers and food-related garbage tossed in by hurrying passersby. At times its base is surrounded by more such stuff, some maybe discarded by Timmy, who’s often stationed there on the sidewalk in his wheelchair, receiving food donations from loyal supporters.

    Rarely would library users themselves contribute to such excessive garbage. These messes are caused by many people rushing along to & from the business area, the three private schools, special appointments in nearby offices, or the Rec Center. And if the City of LA is obligated to regularly pick up and empty street garbage cans like that one, it doesn’t do it often enough. Also more than one trashcan could be positioned there.

    After Arnie Wishnick’s departure, the Chamber of Commerce has now abandoned his admirable effort to help raise funds to maintain an overall clean and attractive street and sidewalk appearance in this community’s busy central business area. This includes the library’s site, as that entire block of Alma Real lies within the official commercial zone. It shouldn’t look loathsome in places.

    As a public facility, the library regularly accommodates many meetings of our community’s worthy nonprofit organizations. Though it can’t pay to belong to the BID or become a Cof C member, the sidewalk area beyond its doorway deserves respectful attentions from them both. Yet almost always, as now, shrewd lawyers can find excuses in wordings of bylaws and other such official documents that enable the groups they represent to back out of longstanding community-benefiting and -protective commitments. Rick Caruso’s big investment in lavishly upgrading the center of town’s real estate holdings has inevitably resulted in businesses that primarily cater to the super-wealthy. Meanwhile, lots of people of all income levels still travel upon our sidewalks, trashing them with discarded stuff. Surely efforts should be resumed to raise enough money, from different sources, to pay for needed basic maintenance beyond our library’s own modest grounds.

  7. cindy simon says:

    As someone who regularly picks up trash as I go about my day, I have found that when there are no trash cans available, people will just throw their empty coffee cups, juice boxes, liquor bottles, cigarettes and fast food containers on the sidewalk or in the gutter. Witness the trash on Chautaugua and Corona del Mar which residents and workers toss out of their vehicles as they leave our community. When there exists a trash can, people will use it. When there is not, people won’t save their trash until they find one – they will toss it and leave it behind.

  8. ANNINE MADOK says:

    What is the responsibility of the city of LA to pay for trash pickup in those areas? What is the responsibility of the local businesses to operate with trash cans accessible?

Comments are closed.