In a small victory for Elsmere Canyon dump foes, the executive board of the California Contract Cities Assn. has taken a more neutral stance on the proposed landfill, amending a resolution that would have endorsed it outright.
The 15-member board Wednesday night deleted all mentions of Elsmere Canyon in the resolution, opting instead to endorse landfills that "are duly permitted in accordance with the environmental safeguards" in state and federal laws.
"We're happy that they took that position," Assistant City Manager Ken Pulskamp said. "We were very concerned that an agency that we were a member of would take any position in support of a landfill in Elsmere Canyon."
A committee of the Contract Cities Assn. last week approved a resolution singling out Elsmere Canyon as a landfill site. Santa Clarita officials viewed that stance as a stab in the back by an organization of which the city was the largest member.
Santa Clarita has long opposed the proposed dump, which would place 190 million tons of garbage in the city's back yard.
San Dimas, whose City Council on a 3-2 vote in April passed a resolution endorsing the Elsmere Canyon landfill proposal, had originally asked the Contract Cities Assn. to support the dump.
Mayor Terry Dipple on Thursday agreed that the revised version approved by the executive board was not as specific, but said the resolution was not weaker.
"Elsmere is the only new landfill site that I am aware of in Los Angeles County," Dipple said, "so, without mentioning it by name, it is something that cities should be interested in pursuing."
San Gabriel Valley cities have favored the Elsmere Canyon landfill because they feel their own area, with three fully operational and one partially run landfills, already bears its fair share of the county's garbage. Santa Clarita officials point out that their area also has three landfills.
The resolution had originated from the BKK Corp., developers of the proposed landfill, which had distributed copies to several cities across the county in an effort to win support for the Elsmere Canyon landfill.
Santa Clarita has accused BKK of manipulating one city against the other, a charge that BKK President Ken Kazarian said was unfair.
"Every time they do something and we respond to it, they cry foul," Kazarian said.