Friday, October 9, 2015

Garbage In Garbage Out Garbage Back

September 28, 2010: It all started with a lie.  A deliberate calculated lie at the September 2010 commission meeting.  Our then city manager told  the commission that privatizing our garbage services would save the city $500,000 per year in operating costs and our commission voted to direct the city manager to create the contract and bring it back for approval.  The $500,000 was a lie.  The savings was never estimated at $500k and the commission voted based on what they heard. 

What also was buried in that contract negotiation was the fact that the single  family homes would lose sideyard pickup, meaning that the single family homes would twice a week have to drag a single 94 gallon can to the curb for pickup.  

When the commission changed in November 2010, the contract was ready to be heard but the commissioners who had pushed it were now off the dais, the lie about the $500,000 had been exposed, and the true impact of eliminating side yard pickup was being understood.  In December 2010, the commission directed the city manager to renegotiate to include the sideyard pickup.  

Interesting side note, on December 14, 2010, Vice Mayor Kreps introduced a resolution to not waive the protest fee from a competitor who felt the process was rigged then voted against her own resolution, effectively opening the process up for renegotiation.  She did this because she's stupid.   

Anyway, since with all the chicanery, the stink of dishonesty and a general sense that someone would wind up in jail if the deal were finalized, nobody wanted to touch the contract.  Waste Management and the city quietly let the whole thing die. 

Flash forward to October 2015, 5 years later, and one Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of A Gun Frank Rollason has decided that the time has come to finalize this contract.  In the detailed agenda, on page 179, he states that there would be a savings of $145,234 per year if the village privatizes and [key point] ELIMINATES SIDE YARD PICKUP.  Rootin' Tootin' Straight Shootin' Son of A Gun Frank Rollason does say there will be a lower savings if side yard pickup is continued but does not specify what the savings will be.  By my calculations, it would be around $97k but that's not clear at all.   That also assumes savings from not having to replace village sanitation but again, it's unclear if these need to be replaced so without knowing that, the savings could very well be zero.  

So here we have it.  A dirty five year old deal just sitting and festering like the water on our streets waiting to be brought back to life through the back door.  

An open administration with a professional village manager would hold a real workshop on this, get the residents' input, study the impact on our daily lives of garbage cans in the street twice per week, evaluate the real financial impact and then rather than resurrect an obsolete bid at midnight, discuss this openly and plainly.  We need to insist that our commission demand exactly that. 

Kevin Vericker
October  9, 2015


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