In a recent “Valley Voices” piece, Adelanto resident Gregory Rush pointed out a problem with trash being dumped in what he refers to as “North Adelanto.” He further indicated that … "I suspect that many people have pretty much given up on our end of town, particularly when it comes to any further expenditure of resources or effort” … and … “If none of the new Adelanto pot industry money featured in the article from your paper finds its way to solving any of the chronically ignored quality-of-life issues in the still-existing 'old' part of our town, they can move in all of the new people they want down in the 'Green Zone' and it won’t put a dent in the problem.”
Mr. Rush, who admits to being a renter in Adelanto for only a year, mistakenly described the “north end” as starting at Mojave Drive. In reality Rancho Road is where newer development has occurred to the south. But the Adelanto City Council allocates resources or addresses issues within our city where the need is the greatest, and probably unbeknownst to Mr. Rush, it has been in the north part of the city where we have concentrated the greatest resources to address illegal dumping.
The city received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which allowed us to assign a Code Enforcement Officer more often in the northern part of the city to the exclusion of the south.
It is unfortunate that some people have no regard for public or private property, and no hygiene standards that allows them to disregard their own property or dump trash and debris onto someone else’s — and it’s occurring all over the city, perhaps worse in the area Mr. Rush described.
The Code Enforcement Division — and at times including the Public Works Department — is continually removing items that people have dumped illegally, items that are either unsafe or create blight within our community. But despite their best efforts, no sooner than trash has been removed, more trash often re-appears.
Code Enforcement Officers — five officers to cover a city of 34,000 — routinely patrol the city looking for violators, but just like with the commission of any other crime, the perpetrator is shrewd enough to wait until no officer is present before breaking the law.
It would be terrific if there were adequate resources — and volunteers — to target specific areas of the city to conduct more frequent on-site clean-up efforts, but in the absence of both, the city has chosen to offer the Free Dump Day/Community Clean-Up events.
The City of Adelanto conducts three of these events per year (April, July and October) so that those who can’t (or choose not to) go to the County Landfill can bring unwanted items to designated locations for free and not have to concern themselves with paying the “dump fee” at the landfill — or feel the need to dump illegally.
During the most recent Community Clean-Up held at in April at Adelanto Stadium saw residents bring in:
• 66.94 tons of trash
• 8.43 tons of metal
• 9.56+ tons of tires
• And 20.85 tons of miscellaneous items at the off-site location at the corner of Auburn Avenue and New Hampshire Road.
In April of this year 12 organizations and 82 volunteers participated to unload and keep 250 vehicles moving at the stadium as they brought mattresses, furniture, household trash, televisions, computer monitors, small tires, paints, oil — just about anything that would find its way into a trash can, the landfill or worse … a field in Adelanto.
The city is well aware of the multi-unit properties within the city as we conduct inspections on a yearly basis of those properties. Additionally, we recently adopted a Crime-Free Ordinance which should aid in reducing crime, as illegal dumping is, around the north side as all of the City’s multi-unit properties are located in the north.
As for the “pot money” Mr. Rush referred to, even with the anticipated tax revenues from the medical cannabis industry (which will go to the General Fund and no particular area in the city) there will never be enough resources to address the many quality- of-life issues throughout the city.
Our government is doing and will continue to do its part to address quality-of-life issues throughout the city, and we call upon Mr. Rush and like-minded individuals to continue speak out but not just to complain, to propose solutions and offer ways that residents can and will work with our government to address the quality of life issues in our community.
Every Friday I have set-aside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for residents to meet with me one-on-one to discuss issues and concerns they may have. To schedule a time, contact City Secretary Rachel Suraci at 760-246-2300, ext. 11125.
We are blessed to have as many dedicated and committed nonprofit organizations and churches in and serving our community and they are making significant progress addressing issues beyond the scope of what city government can do, including addressing the image of our community.
Our City Council urges all residents to take advantage of the Free Dump Day/Community Clean-Up events so that together, we can all be proud of what people see in Adelanto.
Richard Kerr is the mayor of Adelanto.