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71 10 My Role as the New President Week One After a somewhat sleepless night and finding a replacement for my position on Truck 27, I took a shower early in the morning and put on a suit and tie. The first order of business was to go to the Bank of America at Hayes and Divisadero Streets—ironically— one of my customers on Route 27. All the company’s business was conducted at this particular branch. Manager Peter Tarantino and assistant manager Bernie Katz were my friends. I had actually opened my first checking account with that bank with $10 when I was seventeen years old, so I had a personal relationship with the bank and the people who ran it. The bank opened at 10 am, but at 8:30 I was knocking on the door. Peter Tarantino came to the door and the first thing he said to me was, “Lenny, what are you doing here today? You picked up the garbage on Friday.” “Peter, do I look like I’m collecting garbage?” I responded. “No, of course not.” I explained, “We have a situation that I have to sit down and discuss with you.” He directed me to his desk, and I proceeded to tell him what had happened at Sunset Scavenger. I thought he was going to have a heart attack! I soon learned one reason he was nervous was that the two garbage companies, Sunset Scavenger and Scavenger ’s Protective Association, had just borrowed $2.1 million to develop the potential Sierra Point disposal facility in Brisbane, a development that would extend the life of the current landfill an additional twenty-five years. Peter was concerned about the $600,000 loan that Bank of America had given to the two companies. The companies’ lack of credit experience had been a concern to both lenders (Bank of America and Occidental Life Insurance Company), but this concern was reduced because, when the companies applied for the 72 My Role as the New President loan, one of the statements was that the management of both companies was “permanent and stable.” And here I walk in, informing the bank that I, at the age of thirty-one, was the new president of Sunset Scavenger and that the entire board of directors had been “excommunicated” from the company after an internal revolution. Peter Tarantino assumed that the company had gone to hell in a handbasket. Historically, the companies saved up cash and purchased equipment as needed. In the case of Sunset Scavenger Company, we purchased used US mail trucks, stripped off the bodies, rebuilt the engines and transmissions, put open truck bodies on the truck chassis, and used the trucks to pick up garbage. Once Peter Tarantino understood what had happened, he contacted the bankers downtown, who contacted me later. I thanked Peter for his help, and we signed the new signature cards for payroll and other documents necessary to commence operations under Sunset Scavenger Company’s new regime. Once that was completed, I went to the Sunset Scavenger office and commenced my education, learning what had to be done and when. During the process, the shareholders and everyone else were very cooperative, and I was surprised to see that everything went extremely well in the conversion of management roles. That said, we began to review the books and to figure out what had to be done to commence and continue a normal line of doing business. The balance of our work on Monday and Tuesday was to in­ form our certified public accountants of the company changes and sign a contract with the law firm Scampini, Mortara & Ertola. (Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison clearly had a conflict of interest in working for the new board and for me.) We also had to inform our purveyors and contractors that we had taken over the company and that any future contacts had to be made through me as president. Part of that process was to inform Scavenger’s Protective Association president John Moscone and his board that I was the new president of Sunset Scavenger Company and that all future dealings between them and Sunset were to be through me and me alone. We also had to inform Sanitary Fill Company, the disposal company that was owned by both collection companies, that I was to be the new vice president of that company as well. Needless to say, that news shook up a few people there. 73 My Role as the New...


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MARC Record
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