Environmental activist Lynne Plambeck might seem like the perfect person to appoint to a group looking to site a recycling facility.
She’s an award-winning involved citizen and has been at the front of several battles defending natural areas in and around the city.
However, for the ad-hoc, non-binding, advisory committee being named to help the city find a place for its required recycling facility, city officials asked for someone else to represent the Sierra Club, which automatically gets a seat on the 13-member panel.
“Ken (Pulskamp) sent a letter to the Sierra Club to please submit another name, that Lynne Plambeck was submitted, but we would rather not recommend her for the committee,” explained city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz.
“The reason is that when the Planning Commission approved the recycling facility being located on the Gates property, she appealed it. She does have a history of fighting development and fighting the City. We’re looking for people with open minds.”
Ortiz said that the Sierra Club has already provided another candidate to comply with Pulskamp’s request. Sierra Club member David Morrow will serve on the committee, if approved by Council.
The MRF advisory group, officially known as the Recycling Facility Site Selection Citizen Committee, is an ad-hoc committee of the city.
“Their job is to work with City staff to come up with acceptable locations to locate a recycling facility in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Ortiz said.
When we reached Plambeck, she was working on researching the backgrounds of other candidates being named to the committee.
“I think it’s interesting,” she mused. “They are confusing me with SCOPE (Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment) in filing these lawsuits. SCOPE has a board, 200 paying members and a mailing list of more than 2,000 people. That’s like saying that Frank Ferry sued CEMEX; he didn’t sue them, the city sued them.”
“I think it’s a couple of other issues: the city wants a committee they can control and they don’t really want anyone who really knows the issues.”
Plambeck is used to being picked on, remembering political hit pieces that went out when she has run for various elected offices. She feels her knowledge and willingness to question authority is working against her – again.
What she finds ironic is an award she received from the City after the fight for Elsmere Canyon, in which she played an important part. A plaque on her wall at home lauds her “dedication to supporting … the quality of life in the Santa Clarita Valley”
“Maybe it’s good that this has become a high-profile issue,” she said. “I think it says something about our current council.”
She will be at the City Council meeting to ask for a retraction of the letter, but regardless of the outcome, still has strong feeling about the MRF.
“I think we need a recycling facility in the City, but we have to be very careful where we put it,” she concluded.