OOIDA members meet in Antelope Valley, CA, despite snowstorm

| 12/24/2008

Despite weather conditions that blanketed the Antelope Valley in California with the most snowfall ever recorded in the high desert, OOIDA members and other truckers turned out in full force to discuss the restrictive truck parking issues they are facing there.

Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs specialist for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents more than 160,000 members nationwide, traveled from Missouri to California recently to attend a series of meetings with truckers and Los Angeles County officials on the truck parking issue. 

Rajkovacz said some drivers who attended the meeting on Friday, Dec. 19, in Littlerock, CA, had already been cited by LA County code enforcement officers for parking their rigs on their own property. While others hadn’t received a letter yet, Rajkovacz said they attended the informative meeting as a way to “prepare for when code enforcement officers come for them.”

“It is absolutely vital that drivers get involved in this process and make some noise,” Rajkovacz told Land Line Magazine recently. “Drivers there need to show LA County representatives they have significant numbers and are serious about fighting this issue.”

Rajkovacz said the next step for drivers who live in the Antelope Valley is to have their neighbors who live nearby sign a consent form for a parking variance that shows they are fine with allowing those who have commercial vehicles in excess of 6,000 pounds to park on their own property.

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Rajkovacz attended a meeting – accompanied by some OOIDA members and truck supporters – with representatives in Michael D. Antonovich’s office. Antonovich is the supervisor of the Los Angeles County’s 5th District, which encompasses the Antelope Valley.

Norman Hickling, who is the deputy supervisor, also attended the meeting, along with county zoning enforcement officials there. Rajkovacz said he brought up the idea to Hickling of having Antelope Valley truckers ask their neighbors to sign a parking variance. Although he said Hickling seemed interested in the idea of a parking variance, Hickling stated that numbers were again the key to gaining support behind the idea. 

OOIDA member Tom Fidger of Littlerock, CA, already has a consent form in hand and plans to ask his neighbors to sign it. He said the majority of the residents who live in the Antelope Valley have a “live and let live attitude,” which is why he moved there from LA nearly 20 years ago.

Fidger even ran for a seat on the Littlerock City Council – and won – because he was tired of hearing from truckers who have been cited by code enforcement officers for parking on their property.

“This is a countywide problem, and we need to reach out to other communities in the Antelope Valley who are fighting similar truck parking problems,” Fidger told Land Line on Tuesday, Dec. 23. “We need to have everyone on the same page if we hope to fight this.”

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer