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Hawaiian Gardens Councilman Hank Trimble Slanders Consultant at Meeting, Calling Him a ‘Liar’

Councilman Hank Trimble

Mayor Maravilla allows Trimble to comment, violating rules that were set by the City Council.


At the Hawaiian Gardens City Council meeting held September 24th,  Sal Flores approached the Council during public comment to remark on the ‘wonderful trash hauler’ that was hired for the City. Flores stated, sarcastically, that “ I’m here to update you on the great trash service that we have here in Hawaiian Gardens.” 

Flores represents the Bingo Club and Food Bank in the city, which is owned and operated by the Moskowitz Foundation. The Food Bank feeds hundreds every week, and the Bingo Club routinely donates to community organizations and provides crucial money for disaster relief.

To date, the Moskowitz Foundation has donated well over $150 million to community organizations and disaster relief.

And the Moskowitz family owns the Gardens Casino, which is responsible for 80% of the City’s revenue.

Flores trash complaint was a legitimate one. The new trash hauler in the City, Commercial Waste Services [CWS], had, according to Flores, picked up trash just once in the month of June and then not again until August. Many residents have also complained about CWS.

“I placed a call to the company and a woman answered. I explained the situation,  telling her about the trash not being picked up and its overflowing onto the parking lot and creating an unsafe area in the handicapped parking slots.” 

Flores was told there was nothing she could do, so he asked to speak with a manager, “I was transferred to a recording. I left a message, and as of this council meeting I have not received a return phone call.”

“CWS was the worst out of the three trash haulers that the city considered,” said Flores.

After Flores spoke, Councilman Hank Trimble, clearly angry, skirted his own Council rules, allowed by Mayor Myra Maravilla, and addressed Flores comments, calling Flores a liar for placing illegal trash into an organic bin as a reason for the bad service.

Trimble also slammed Flores statement about handicap parking saying, “trash overflowing in the handicap spaces, come on,” Trimble remarked.

Trimble has remained a strong supporter of CWS in spite of the questionable service and the in initial bid process.

CWS placed near last in the overall bid process, winning because of the per-bin price they gave the City. That allowed the majority to vote on just the price, and that majority included Trimble. 

The current residential rate-the winning bid- in Hawaiian Gardens is $12.01 per month. The consultant hired by the City actually wrote, prior to the award, that CWS’ rate was substantially under cost. 

As an example, the consultant cited that the cost of taking the trash to a landfill, a transfer station or a recycling facility – basically picking the trash up – would cost over $14 per month, indicating that CWS was losing at least $1.99 per household with their winning bid.

And that $14 does not include any other expenses, such as general and administrative, that would likely drive the price much higher, which could be a reflection of the CWS service Flores and other have complained about.

Fast forward to council meeting of October 23rd. 

Flores once again approached the podium, “a few weeks ago I was accused of lying to the City Council.” Flores, looking right at Trimble, stated, “one member accused me of placing trash in the wrong bin and making the can too heavy.”

Everyone knows that organic waste, food waste, weighs more than regular trash, and CWS uses 95-gallon cans instead of the smaller cans like every other trash hauler, that is why the can was heavy.

Commercial will not pick up on set days, “I cannot get them to pick up on regular days or hours,” said Flores. “We called them up and we were told that they would pick the organic waste from the Food Bank on Mondays and Thursdays, but they come whenever they want.”

One photo that Flores gave the Council showed CWS making a pick up at the Bingo Club. “The truck looked like it was from the last century,” said Flores, “as soon as the waste was crushed from the inside, it would leak out of the truck. It had breaks and cracks in the windshield, and as the truck pulled out of the parking lot, it continued to leak crushed garbage onto the street.”

After Flores’ comments, Trimble once again slammed Flores and threw out another unsubstantiated lie.

This time Trimble accused Flores of working for CR&R, who lost in the bidding process, and not the Moskowitz Foundation.

And once again, Mayor Maravilla failed to gavel Trimble out, allowing him to defame Flores.

Trimble wrongly stated that Flores “was a representative for CR&R and that he was upset that CR&R did not win the bid.” 

“I could care less who won the bid,” said Flores, “I just want good trash service for my organizations and the City.”

Sources told HMG-LCCN that CWS was invited to come to the council meeting to discuss this situation but they declined.