Monday, August 06, 2007

Trash, Trash, Beautiful Trash

**Update - I corrected items. Thanks to Projo reporter Meaghan Wims for staying alert more than I did. There were so many suggestions that it was hard to keep track. We're losing the dump, our taxes are going up, we'll be paying even more in user fees, yet it's worth more than an hour to try & figure out a way to squeeze even more $ out of us.
Matt Sheley's article is here.

**The bottom line is that the dump will be open in Sept. & Oct. If you have a sticker, you're golden, if not, $25 will do the trick. If you're a glutton for punishement, read the details of how the Council got there.
Tonight the Council met in a limited session. One 80 min. topic was -suprise, surprise - trash. The start of the program is being posponed for two months. I'm not really sure why, but it is. So the problem becomes what to do about the transfer station.
The stickers expire Sept. 1. The new pay-bag system begins Nov. 1. The discussion centered around how to handle keeping the station open for two more months & the logistics of this. Some discussion also centered around how to make money for this non-expected transfer station extension.
The cost of keeping the dump open is $70,000. There was discussion of using the bag system (of course, there are no bags yet) by Mello. Barrows thought a pay-per trip program might work. Councilwoman Mello was concerned that citizens were "taking advantage" by cleaning out attics & garages. Well, duh. You'd be mighty dumb if you didn't, wouldn't you?
The possibility of just letting people using their dump sticker for two extra months was brought up by Antone Viveros. I believe Councilman "White Knight" Silveira favored this also, but he was difficult to hear. I believe that the mics weren't quite loud enough & you must remember to speak into them. This may explain why Antone got applause & the White Knight did not. Or maybe more of "The Island Watchdogs" were present.
Town Administrator Gerry "Between a Rock & a Hard Place" Kempen suggested charging everyone $25 to renew their sticker (you can get 2 vehicles covered for this). "Mother" Theresa Mello, who knows how to use a mic, wanted $25 renewal, but NEW PEOPLE (and you know who you are) must pay $25/vehicle. This also initiated applause (but not from any of those "new people", I think). An audience member was upset that some people "abuse" their sticker & take OTHER people's trash. Hmm, usually this is referred to as helping out a neighbor.
Another attendee mused on what the committee would do if this system went bust (a good chance if not enough people sign up & bag costs soar). The bottom line is that Plan B is no plan at all. Remember this is an "ownership" society. You'll just have to take care of trash yourself. I'm no expert here, but "no plan" might get you "no votes" next yr.
Shirley Mello made a motion to decide later so that she could think about it more. This is called "Tabling a motion," by the way. AAAAGH! I thought that "Tries Harder" DiPalma made another motion to charge $25, but I was again having trouble hearing. Another audience member again suggested no charge at all if you had a sticker which would generate "good will," especially since we were switching to a somewhat complex program. Then "Inspector" Sylvia started to make a motion following this up (again, he knows how to use a mic).
At this point the Town's Attorney came to-attention. It's not that difficult to sleep with your eyes open. I do it all the time. Just too many motions set off an alarm (figuratively, that is). OOOh, that darned parliamentary procedure. The upshot being that Councilperson Mello withdrew her motion & Sylvia's motion passed - $0 renewal; new stickers - $25 each. Applause, applause. Perhaps because this discussion was over.
It was emphasized that the town was exerting "good will" here & doing us all a favor. Hmmm, who's money is paying for the transfer station again? Oh, that's right, it's ALL our money.
You know, if all this time spent on trash talk (confusing, I might add) could have been spent discussing how to achieve world peace, we'd be living in Nirvana right now. More than an hr. spent on a short-term logistical problem with a fairly obvious solution. More will follow. It ain't over, till it's over. And it ain't over.
Oh, and bulky trash will required buying either a $15 or $25 sticker & calling for pickup. Truly couldn't be easier.
I left at 8:45. They were still talking.
Newport this week's Andrew Martin also did an informative article.
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