So it’s a big day in the Montebello Athens saga. Too bad we can’t get Montebello Mayor Rosie Vasquez on the phone long enough to comment on it.
Reporter Amanda Baumfeld called Vasquez just a few minutes ago, to ask her about a judge’s decision today to dismiss a referendum that would have given Montebello voters the chance to revoke a Athens Service trash-hauling contract.
But Vasquez couldn’t talk —- she was busy putting her grandbabies to sleep.
Here’s a snippet of Baumfeld’s story:
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Yaffe rejected the referendum at a hearing Friday after not being able to find the date when the Montebello City Clerk signed the trash contract.
A contract becomes official once a clerk signs it, officials said.
“The judge granted the motion on the basis that the signatures (for the referendum) where gather prematurely,” said Mike Montgomery. “The time didn’t start until the city clerk attested the ordinance (contract).”
A petition for a referendum was circulated in July by independent trash haulers who will lose their commercial garbage contracts in Montebello as a result of the Athens contract.
The 15-year contract with Athens, worth about $7.8 million annually was approved on a 3-2 vote by Councilmembers Kathy Salazar, Robert Urteaga and Rosie Vasquez on July 23.
Haulers worked under the assumption that the signatures had to be gathered and returned within 30 days of City Council approval of the contract.
But the judge said it is 30 days after the city clerk signs it, according to Montgomery.