Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

It could be said that the public agency responsible for trash and recycling issues in Del Norte County is in a state of transition.

Looking for professional advice during changing times, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority Board will consider hiring an independent consultant during today's meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the Flynn Administrative Center, 981 H St., Crescent City.

For more than three years, some local officials have publicly questioned the need for the continuation of the Solid Waste Authority, with the rallying cry of "privatization" frequently invoked.

If hired, the consultant would evaluate and make recommendations on the structure of the Solid Waste Authority, "including but not limited to privatization" of operations or the structure of the authority, said Richard Enea, chairman of the Solid Waste Authority Board and mayor of Crescent City.

"They will take a brief look at privatization because people have been talking about it," Enea said, adding that it would not be the primary task of the consultant.

Since the executive director of the authority was forced to retire in July, the consultant will also evaluate the director position and how to best recruit for it.

"We need to modernize this job description," Enea said.Since the position was last substantially overhauled more than 20 years ago, the Crescent City Landfill has been shut down andreplaced by the county transfer station, Enea said, and the director position should change accordingly.

If hired, the consultant would also look at the authority's cash-handling procedures, prompted by the discovery of nearly $29,000 in missing public funds, which was cited by the authority board as a driver for the forced retirement of the former director.

The consultant will also evaluate staffing patterns and duplication of jobs at the transfer station, increasing efficiencies in daily operations, and the future of transfer stations in Gasquet and Klamath.The consultant would report back to the board within 60 days, Enea said.

During today's meeting, the authority board will also consider maintenance actions at the closed landfill to comply with state regulators, discuss a policy for attempting to collect or write off bad debts at the transfer station, and hear a presentation on the formation, history and responsibilities of the Solid Waste Authority.

Reach Adam Spencer at