OOIDA member assumes new role on town council in Littlerock, CA

| 1/7/2009

Truck parking restrictions will be one of OOIDA member Tom Fidger’s top priorities as he assumes his seat on the Littlerock, CA, Town Council.

In fact, the restrictive truck parking ordinance in his community and in the entire Antelope Valley is one of the reasons Fidger ran for office in the first place. He had little interest in local and county politics until fellow truckers started complaining they were being cited by Los Angeles County zoning enforcement officials for parking on their property.

However, he said in order for the town council to take his input seriously, he needs truckers and truck supporters who live in the Antelope Valley to turn out for his first meeting on the town council at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, at the Alpine Grange Hall, located at 87th Street East and Avenue T-8 in Littlerock, CA.

“We need to make some noise and show the town council and zoning officials in Los Angeles County that we are serious about fighting these unreasonable restrictions imposed on truckers,” he told Land Line on Tuesday, Jan. 6. “Show up, bring your trucks and speak up.”

Truckers across the Antelope Valley – including another OOIDA member, Paul Schwanke of Acton, CA – have been cited by LA County zoning officials for parking their trucks on their own property. Schwanke owns several trucks he has had to pay to park elsewhere, an expense he told Land Line he can’t afford much longer if the trucking business doesn’t pick up soon.

Schwanke attended a meeting organized by truckers in Littlerock, CA, in mid-December on this same issue. Also on hand at that meeting was Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs specialist for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, who flew out to California to attend the meeting to support OOIDA members and other truckers who are fighting the ban there.

“Finding someplace to park a truck, whether you are at home or on the road, is a national problem for drivers,” Rajkovacz told Land Line recently. “OOIDA is working with state and federal authorities, as well as local members, to find an effective solution to this growing problem.”

The truck parking problem in the Antelope Valley has even attracted the attention of the Los Angeles Times. A Times reporter was scheduled to meet with Fidger and other OOIDA members on the issue on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

“We live in a rural area up here, and we oppose the fact that the county wants to impose their big city restrictions on us like not allowing us to park on our own property,” he said. “My neighbors and I get along. Most of us have moved up here to get away from the city. My neighbors don’t have a problem with my truck, and I don’t have a problem with them doing what they need to do to make a living.”

Fidger said he understands that some truckers can’t make it back home in time for the meeting, especially during these rough economic times, so he suggested writing letters to the town council instead, via the Littlerock Town Council, P.O. Box 766, Littlerock, CA 93543.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer