VIEWPOINT: Trash and Rats

When the BID no longer paid to have Chrysalis pick up trash outside the Palisades Village, resident Bruce Schwartz emptied the bins on Sunset by the corner of Palisades High School and the Lutheran Church.

And Other Pacific Palisades Adventures

At one time, Pacific Palisades was a community where residents and business owners worked together for the benefit of all.

About 17 years ago, when trash started overflowing in the main business district (Swarthmore and Antioch) and the business block on Marquez Avenue, and the City couldn’t or wouldn’t pick it up in a timely fashion, Chamber of Commerce President Saud Mazboudi and Executive Director Arnie Wishnick came up with a plan.

Together, they sent out a letter to every household in the community asking for donations to pay for trash pickup and gutter cleaning by Chrysalis in the trash-impacted business areas. Their reasoning was that a clean and tidy commercial area would encourage people to shop there.

Routinely, the Chamber received about $30,000 in annual donations that paid for a twice-weekly crew from Chrysalis for many years.

Alas, when Wishnick retired last year, the Chamber board of directors decided they no longer wanted to be in the trash business. Instead, they turned over their existing funds to the newly formed Pacific Palisades Business Improvement District. Unfortunately, the BID could only use the funds for its area.

That meant that the Marquez Business area, which is not part of the Palisades BID, was now on its own. Also, Caruso’s Palisades Village representative Rick Lemmo, a member of BID, announced that Caruso would take care of the mall’s trash.

The trash that spilled over onto the Village Green, the pocket park across Sunset, was of no concern to Caruso. So, the nonprofit Village Green Committee, which has no retail income and is not part of the BID, now had to raise money for trash pickup.

At the August 7 BID meeting, it was pointed out that the trash container that was located in front of the Coffee Bean had been moved to the corner of Swarthmore and Antioch and that it needed to be emptied more than twice a week, when the Chrysalis crew comes to town (paid for by the BID).

BID asked Village Green board member Marge Gold, who was at the meeting, if the Village Green trash person would pick up the BID bin: in essence BID would pay the Village Green to pick up its trash. Gold said “No.”

PRIDE, the town’s beautification nonprofit that has adopted several medians, is now responsible for the trash pickup in the Marquez Business District, which had reported overflowing bins and rats.

Ahh, for the good old days when Wishnick ran the Chamber, asked for donations, and received the funds to allow the trash to be picked up in a timely fashion throughout the Village and beyond.

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