Menifee solid waste collection agreement expanded to meet needs

Menifee city clerk Sarah Manwaring swears in police Lt. Denise Keith and Lt. Heriberto Gutierrez during the Wednesday, March 4, Menifee City Council meeting. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The Menifee City Council moved to renegotiate the city’s solid waste franchise agreement with the Waste Management company for another five years providing additional services to residents’ trash pickups.

Waste Management and city staff have been working to renegotiate the current 15-year contract after it was determined the growing city needed additional waste management services.

The renegotiated contract, discussed at the meeting Wednesday, March 4, will not result in rate increases for residents, the council said.

The amendment, approved by the council with Councilmember Lesa Sobek absent due to illness, will result in $40,000,000 in general fund revenue over the term of the amendment, including the five-year extension, which is approximately $17,000,000 more revenue than would be received under the terms of the existing agreement. The amendment provides approximately $700,000 of additional annual general fund revenue.

The amended contract will authorize Waste Management to host four free community cleanup events for Menifee residents at various locations, an increase from the current two cleanup events Waste Management currently provides.

It will provide added cleanup opportunities.

The amendments will allow the city to provide cleanup opportunities in each council district. They will include providing residents with four free bulky item pickup services a year and an increase from the current two free bulky item pickup services they currently provide. Bulky items include large household items, electronic waste, appliances and furniture.

Waste Management will provide two BatteryTracker used battery containers at agreed upon city facilities, an increase from the current one BatteryTracker they currently provide.

Each calendar year, Waste Management will provide two WM LampTracker containers at agreed upon city facilities, an increase from the current one LampTracker they currently provide.

Waste Management will provide residents with two free mail-back containers annually, an increase from the current one free mail-back container annually they currently provide. Waste Management will also provide 20 sharps containers per fiscal year to the city for use by city staff on homeless encampment cleanups.

Waste Management will provide up to $15,000 annually toward the Menifee Matters quarterly publication, an increase from the $10,000 they currently provide. Waste Management will be entitled to editorial space of not less than one-half page in each edition of the city newsletter, which shall be utilized to promote waste diversion, sustainability efforts and community partnerships.

Waste Management will arrange to remove and dispose of illegally dumped materials located within 20 feet of the public right of way in the city, within two business days from its observation of the illegally dumped solid waste or a request for removal from the city.

Waste Management will provide all single-family dwelling customers with one, 95-gallon green waste cart, unless the governing association requests that green waste carts will not be delivered to its members, and the governing association handles all landscaping for the development.

The event calendar changes were delayed.

Since council member Sobek was absent, the council decided to delay action until the next meeting to provide direction to staff on the addition of a youth summit to the 2020 Special Events Calendar and branding a series of scheduled events as “Audie Murphy Days.” It was Sobek who suggested the event calendar changes.

Earlier in the evening, the council, joined by members of the Menifee community, welcomed two new Menifee police lieutenants, Denise Keith and Heriberto Gutierrez, and swore them into service.

“Our swearing in ceremonies are a vital part of what we do in the police force,” police Chief Pat Walsh said. “We want to showcase to the community the oath that the officers are taking, with their families present, as they are part of the commitment as well to building a strong public safety team.”

Keith began her law enforcement career in Texas in 2005 and brings over 14 years of experience to the Menifee Police Department, including a year and half with the Denton County Sheriff’s Department and over 12 years with the Addison Police Department, Walsh said. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2015 and supervised both the patrol and criminal investigations divisions. Before that, she served as sergeant for four years, spending time supervising patrol shifts, criminal investigations and deployment.

“These two lieutenants have already hit the ground running,” Walsh said. “They have already proven to be a critical part of the team and have made strides in assisting the team as we build the department.”

Gutierrez began his career in law enforcement at the age of 14 when he joined the Police Explorer program with the South Gate Police Department. In 2000, he graduated from the Rio Hondo Police Academy as a South Gate police officer. During his career, he served as a patrol officer, gang officer, field training officer, SWAT officer and narcotics detective.

In 2013, Gutierrez earned both his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management and a promotion to patrol sergeant. After his promotion, he supervised various specialized units, including the department’s crime impact team, SWAT team and the field training program. As a supervisor for the field training program, Gutierrez took a lead role in creating an active shooter response program for officers and civilian employees alike, as well as implemented a paperless documentation and management system for the program.

Following the introductions, the two lieutenants had their new badges pinned on by family members.

Walsh also explained the symbols on the police uniform patch that was originally designed by students from Mt. San Jacinto College art students and “tweaked” by the new officers. He said the captains’ and lieutenants’ badges are numbered will be given out in order as come aboard and are sworn in.

A $951,428.65 bid presented to RJ Noble Company for doing a 3-mile asphalt overlay project on Goetz Road beginning in May was also briefly discussed and approved by council. An additional $95,143 was authorized for the city manager to execute the unanticipated construction costs of the project not exceeding 10% of the actual cost.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at