vehicles damaged in traffic accidents or those abandoned, unregistered,
illegally parked or driven by an improperly licensed driver. Instead, the
tow companies charge vehicle owners fees set by the city for towing and
Towing companies are allowed to charge $78 for removing cars and $15 a
day for storage -- the same rate as L.A.
Vickstein's company, in business in Glendale for 12 years, was added
six months ago to handle towing of heavy-duty vehicles, but said he is
lucky to get one call a month. Although he tows for the Public Works
Department, he said he is getting shut out of hundreds of thousands of
dollars that is generated from the police towing calls.
Three-year contracts with the three towing companies are set to expire
in February. Vickstein said he approached the city three years ago at a
time when contracts were just awarded and was told to come back.
"I think Glendale has for eons had a 'good-ol'-boy' network like so
many other cities," he said. "I feel like I had no chance. There was no
process. It is something I don't have and it is unfair to keep me from
That may be changing, since Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird
directed the Police Department to develop criteria and a process for
awarding contracts. A report will be brought back to the council in the
upcoming weeks, but no one knows what process will be used for the
contracts, he said.
"Everybody wants the opportunity to be considered. We must have a
process that is open," Starbird said.
Police Chief Russell Siverling said the department wants to be fair
and give everyone the same opportunity. Neither he nor Starbird were in
Glendale when the last contract was awarded.
"We want to give everyone a fair shake. That is what we are all
about," Siverling said.
Tow truck operators who provide the service aren't happy that changes
may be made on a system they say has worked.
"I think they ought to say, 'Why fix it if it ain't broken,"' said
Carvel Gay, owner of Gay's Towing and president of the California Tow
Truck Assn. "It has been a wonderful program for the whole city. They