Speak Out Loud NA

Friday, December 30, 2005

a href=" title="external link"> More Overflow Photos

The first photo shows a large overflow in the front yard of a house, which is a health hazard just to be that close. This swill seeps into the ground, except for the "solids" that will continue to contaminate the area. Not to mention the smell.
(They may need that boat)

Isn't it lovely? Our own little fountain of crap.

This bottom photo shows the aftermath of a blown manhole with dried toilet paper still hanging from the lid and all over the ground around it. Wonderful isn't it?

Nice to know we can build multi-million dollar swimming pools while some neighborhoods are swimming in raw sewage after very minimal rainfalls.
Priorities people! Priorities!!!

Proof of Sewer Overflows

For the sake of making our points about the sewer problems in the inner city, we have just recieved the photos that were recently promised as PROOF that the "rumors" are true. Raw sewage spills into the streets, out of the manholes, and presents a serious health risk to anyone near the areas.
It is imperative that we get our sewer infrastructure repaired to stop these overflows and illicit discharges into streams, roadways, and the Ohio river.
As you can see in one photo, there is a sign posted that warns of potential health hazards when overflows are occurring. These signs are supposed to be posted at every overflow site, but of course, this mandate has not been adheared to.
Please folks, understand, there was raw sewage backing up in basements after this last rain of less than 1", and that is unacceptable.
We just believe that certain serious conditions that cause harm to the City, as in stalling economic development, and harm to the residents, as in being exposed to raw sewage, should be at the top of the list of priorities for this administration to address. Knowing this sort of situation exists in the City, and is not being fixed, makes it hard for me to believe the Mayor can actually say he thinks he's doing a good job. He put himself on the Sewer Board, with pay, so he I hold him entirely responsible for the mismanagement that has occurred over the last 2 years.
Soon, they will be forced to admit these problems, and fix the faulty lines that are causing these horrible conditions. Then, we'll get hit with the sewer rate increase that has already been openly discussed. Only, the fact that the sewer fund was used as the City Slush Fund for so long, is at least a part of the reason that they do not have the money for these repairs.
Once again, we will be forced to pay for bad decisions and misappropriations of funds. We just don't believe that's fair.
The least we should expect is to see an Investigative Audit of the Sewer Department, and all the money that was taken to pay other obligations.
We are entitled to have such an audit before us before they can assess rate increases. All they have now is a 5 month financial report.
We want answers.
We have more photos we will post later.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy (the) Holidays (are over)!

For now, at least, we have a short break before the New Year rings in. Oh, what a year we expect it to be. A Grand starting bell will sound at First Council Session of the New Year. Should be very interesting.
Everyone should re-read the previous posting a second time, if they haven't already had to remind themselves of what the REAL issues started out to be, and give it some more thought time.
The Attorney General's report, in the "Dual Office Holding Guide", is very enlightening when it comes to re-assessing who holds what positions, and how many City salaries are legally allowed. The key term seems to be "lucrative offices".
I'm just sure the Attorney General's office also holds opinions on contracts entered into between Legal Counsel and the City. Especially when same Legal Counsel contracts with the opposing party. Hmmmmmmmmm
Re-read the Courier articles again too. If your Christmas was as exhusting as mine, your brain will require a refreasher "view" of the issues that currently face New Albany, and the circumstances that will soon lead to a "worse" life, fiscally and socio-economically, in New Albany than we have endured in quite some time.
Anyone who can say, with a straight face, that James Garner has had a successful first half as Mayor, better have some answers for "oldernewalbanian", at least!
I don't think she will mind identifying herself, for those who don't already know (and shame on you if you don't), and providing whatever documentation and evidence any reasonable person would consider adequate, if it would mean getting some answers and a little justice. THIS WOMAN LOST HER HOME OF 30+ YEARS, IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD, "LOST". I think you can e-mail her directly thru her profile.
C'mon All4Word, isn't this what you asked for? Specifics? I think your exact words were, "...see if we can get to the bottom of it." Well, here 'ya go. Get this Lady some answers, and some justice, and some compensation, for the conditions she was being forced to live with while living in the inner-city of New Albany.
Then try to make the rest of us believe that we don't have to be afraid of living in the same conditions, in certain parts of this Inner-City, as she did.
When you can explain what happened to her, and why, then "get to the bottom of it".
Also, give us some real answers about where the money went.
Where are the State Audits, and why do Council members have to ASK for a monthly report that they should be recieving automatically (Hint:make sure they match)?
Then convince us, and the EPA, that the sewers aren't going to implode, and the EPA is happy with us again. Make us believe we don't need the Potty Police anymore.
Then you can point to that "Ground Zero" hole in the Earth Downtown, tell me that Scribner Place is a "good investment", when every other building Downtown is sitting empty and neglected due to extreme costs, and I might agree with you.
Just three little questions there that I would like answered. That's all.
I just don't believe there are any good answers to those questions.
I don't believe for a minute they can be explained away.
Three little questions.
Nah, not in this little town, full of "little people", and even our own "little Timmy". Our "little" minds couldn't possibly wrap around those "little" problems.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

a href=" title="external link"> Next Council Meeting - Jan. 9th, 2006

The first City Council meeting of 2006 will most likely be the most important meeting of the entire year because of the issues that will be brought to the table, and the election of a new Council President & Vice-President.
Folks, unless you want another 2 years of bad decisions and shoving things through the Council (Scribner EDIT funds) too fast and too loose, you better get vocal with all the Council members you can, and insist that Dan Coffey be given the position in order to put some checks and balances on the runaway money train that's been plowing through New Albany.
Donnie Blevins has been embroiled in too much controversy already, and is obviously the Mayors favorite Council member given the way he's been taken care of. He's already nothing more than a puppet for Garner. He has no idea what any of the issues are really about. Trust me. I tried to converse with him about a couple and it was impossible. This suggestion is just ridiculous.
So, we figure they are really going to go for Jack Messer. However, there are many concerns about him, as he is already sitting on multiple boards, and commission, which I will list later, and he is a City police officer.

Let me point what I've learned from the office of the Indiana Attorney General, Steve Carter, concerning dual office holding. Did you know they actually have a printed report addressing this very issue? It's very enlightening.
Article 3, Section 1, separation of powers doctrine.
"No person holding a lucrative office or appointment under the United States or under this State is eligible to a seat in the General Assembly; and no person may hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as expressly permitted in this Constitution."
Lucrative Offices: (short list) City Council member, City Judge, City Sanitary district board member, City Mayor, Deputy Mayor, County Commissioner, Assessor, etc.
"The Indiana Constitutuon prohibits dual office holding. When a person violates the constitutional and statutory provisions that govern dual office holding, the person may, in some instances, lose his/her former official position, commit the Class D felony of conflict of interest, or be removed from his/her official position."

The two articles that appeared in today's Courier Journal are shedding some much needed 'sunlight' on the issues we have been trying to discuss recently on this blog.
We have wasted too much space and too much energy exchanging perspectives, and sharing experiences about why we are all doing the things we are doing..
It's time to return to the important issues facing the City right now, and discuss these situations, offer our opinions, and look at a few facts.
The Sewer article, by Ben Hershberg, points out that word from the EPA is that they are "...in active discussions with the city", and meanwhile our ability to allow credits for sewer expansions, so new development can occur, is still compromised until the EPA is satisfied that the legal agreement, made in 2002 between then Mayor Overton and the EPA, has been fulfilled.
Our agreement was to eliminate overflows of the system, and backups of raw sewage that cause harmful, untreated waste to flow into the streets, drain into groundwater, and discharge directly into the Ohio River.
We are assembling photos of many examples of these occurances, and will post them at the earliest opportunity.
Meanwhile you can visit a website, www.in.gov/idem/water/compbr/compeval/ssoreport and find New Albany's reports of overflows, the date the overflow occurred, and the site of the overflows. A reason is also required by this sytem of reporting, and you will notice the City indeed reported a "sabatoge" at the plant, that caused the system to blow for almost 16 hours before the problem was discovered.
We still question the City's ability to aquire the EPA's approval for the Scribner Place project to hook up to the system, and we expect to get that question answered when the EPA hands down its decision about the City correcting the problems per the 2002 agreement.
We have a lot of things to talk about regarding this article and the situations that surround the entire issue, but for now, we will allow you folks to leave your impressions about the matter, and we will return with more info soon.

The other article, regarding Garbage rate increases, is another hot topic, and the article raises some interesting questions. Why is Garner asking the Council to approves a raise in the rates for 2007, in the first meeting of the 2006 session? Think he's worried about his re-eviction, ...er, re-election campaign?
Didn't they say they already agreed to rate increases every year for the next 5 years of the privatization contract? Why does he now need the Council to approve a rate increase?

They have hit us with a lot of things to talk about, but we are holding the information that will pull all this together, and we can even tie it with a bow.
Have a good discussion, and we will return tonight.
Happy Christmas!!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

A New Year, A New Beginning

Readers, it is vitally important that we all be aware of the business to be conducted at the next City Council meeting, on January 2nd, 2006, the first meeting of the new year. We MUST make sure our voices are heard before this meeting takes place. The public interests and perceptions must be considered in the process of naming a new City Council President.
The first meeting of every year includes the nomination and selection, by Council Members votes, of a new City Council President. This meeting is already raising great concern, as the names that are circulating as projected nominees are...(remove all sharp objects from within your reach), Donnie Blevins (they MUST be kidding), a City employee already embroiled in controversy, and Dan Coffey who has served 7 years on the City Council, and holds no position within City employment that could cause his vote to be compromised in order to protect his job.
Folks, there is one very simple concept to consider here...
Under NO circumstances should ANY City employee be handed the reins as President of the City Council. This would create a situation fraught with possibilities of unethical behavior due to the control that could be exerted by certain authority figures over the sustainability of the persons primary employment.
Furthermore, as it is, City employees sitting as general Council Members are practically inviting trouble, as their employment with the City will certainly carry some weight in their decision making and voting on matters that directly, or indiretly, impact the departments they are associated with.
Already, we've witnessed complications that arose from City employee and Council Member, Donnie Blevins who was curiously moved from the doomed Sanitation Department over to the Street Department without regard to proper procedures of senority based departmental transfers.
This move was percieved as nothing less than political favortism, and has resulted in growing tensions among Sanitation workers and Street Department workers alike. There is even talk of Union grievences being filed.
Indeed, it was recently published in the Courier; "...that [Garner] moved Blevins because of tensions within the (sanitation) department." As the article further explained, the situation that caused the debacle stemmed from two reprimands [Blevins] issued as assistant supervisor in the Sanitation Department, that caused bad feelings in the department.
As Ann posted on her blog, "Diggin' in the Dirt", concerning the situation:
"...it sticks in the craw of several people I have spoken with that Councilman/Sanitation Dept. Assistant Supervisor Donnie Blevins was transferred out of Sanitation shortly before the bid was awarded, thus avoiding the possibility of the aforementioned pay/benefit cut. There are other workers with greater seniority than Blevins."
Even Jack Messer, as a City Police Officer, is straddling the fence by holding a seat on the Council, because he is percieved as having too much influence in too many arenas of City business. This caused great concern when he was considered for the position of Code Enforcement Officer, and eventually led to a great deal of anomosity as tempers flared on both sides of the issue.
The City Council is the city's legislative and fiscal control body. According to the written rules of Indiana Association of Cities & Towns, "Council has the authority to fix salaries of all elected officials in the City. The Council also establishes the annual salaries of members of the City's Police and Fire Departments."
I ask you, does Jack Messer really even belong on the Council, as a matter of principle?
In contrast, CM Dan Coffey holds no position of City employment, and has seven years experience sitting on the City Council. He knows the condition of the City, and he knows no fear when it comes to bringing contentious issues to light, and asking pointed questions of the Mayor and other Council members.
Furthermore, the Council President has the authority to call for an audit, something the people of the City have been asking for, but the City has failed to provide. The Council President also has the authority to call for investigations into other matters, such as the sanitary sewer department, that no one seems to have the answers to. The public deserves to be provided with a Council that will act as the checks and balance system against an administration that has acted irresponsible in matters of financial responsibilities and political favortism appointments to positions that are filled with unqualified personel.
I have no doubt that CM Coffey will utilize these opportunities to finally provide a clear picture to the public, as well as to the administration, of where the City stands in regards to our fiscal health, along with the procedures of conducting City business in the proper fashion.
He may be brash, and he may indeed be guilty of a bit of grandstanding at times, but I would still rather put the the next year of this faltering City in the hands of a bold personality than I would those of a meek and unknowledgeable newcomer, just because he is NOT Dan Coffey.
It's time to step up and take the bull by the horns, and there is no one better for that job than Dan Coffey.
Don't get me wrong folks, I am not a Dan Coffey "fan", and we have had our share of differences along the way. However, I am willing to put aside those differences, and step back to look at what the City needs as a whole. This isn't about personality conflicts, this is business. It's time this City gets down to some serious business.
Finally, it only makes sense that the outgoing President step into the Vice President role, as CM Schmidt did last year, as it is their duty to conduct the business of the Council in the event of an absence of the President elect. Procedural matters would then be able to proceed without hesitation, and knowledge of conducting the business of the Council would be a given circumstance. This method would also provide a gradual course of blending back in with the other general Council members for the outgoing President. Jeff Gahan should, in my opinion, be given the Vice-President position.
Dan Coffey still has things to learn. Perhaps a teamwork approach can be beneficial to all parties concerned.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


In this mornings Board of Works meeting, the decision was reached to privatize Sanitation services with the Clark-Floyd Landfill. Their bid came in at $12.90 per unit, and $21 per ton for dumping.
Our Mayor, the new "Grinch" of the Holiday Season, did not attend the meeting, and instead, was sitting in his office (You're a mean one Mr. Grinch).
We will have more information soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sanitation Saga

We are coming very close to time for the decision to be made about what they are going to do with Sanitation. We are asserting our position that Sanitation be kept in-house, as a City service, with proper controls and oversight. We do hope the Mayor, along with the only voting members of the Board of Works members; Tony Toran, Steve LaDuke, and Chas Hunter, will make the proper decision, and allow the Sanitation Department at least one year to operate under the sub-committee recommendations.
The intent to privatize sanitation, sprung by Garner after campaign promises to correct the mismanagement and inefficiencies that caused the department to falter, is a huge disappointment that just adds to the accumulating list of disappointments our Mayor has developed for himself over the last two years. However, he still has an opportunity to redeem himself, if he will only give due credence to the findings and recommendations of the sub-committee selected to review the Sanitation Department’s fiscal condition, and to propose a plan for the department to recover, and even prosper, within a very short period of time. They have accomplished their task, and they are to be commended. Particular thanks goes out to Steve Price for his diligent examination of the numbers game.
More or less, they have done the job James Garner promised to do himself… if elected. Well, we (the voters) did out part, why hasn’t the Mayor done his part, and stood behind the promises he made in his campaign? Virtually all the rhetoric we heard concerning his aptitude for business has turned out to be nothing more than empty words of your typical Political bulls##t..
Indeed, it’s his lack of business savvy that led to the bumbled attempts to hand off a sanitation contract of privatization without following proper protocol.
We called his hand when a contract with Industrial Disposal (ID) was imminent, but was wrapped up in an illegal meeting. Suddenly, the ID contract “fell through”, according to official accounts. Although, I never heard exactly what the 'official' problems were that led to the fallout, I would venture a guess that there was a bit too much scrutiny of the processes that led up to the contract, and most likely the anticipation of scrutiny of its contents.
Suddenly, the privatization proposal then warranted the appointment of the aforementioned sub-committee, and a full out bidding contest was initiated and carried out. Hurray for small, sweet victories!
However, the problems, obviously, still didn’t stop there.
Due to the many mis-steps made thus far in Garner’s short tenure at the helm, it has been imperative for concerned citizens to keep close tabs on the business end of New Albany’s City operations. Especially given radical changes to city services, the financial irresponsibility, and the long-term ramifications, of Mayor Garner’s proposals, all atop his incredible knack for taking a bad situation in hand, and making things worse, we feel a compelling responsibility to closely monitor all activities.
Unfortunately, our eagerness to become involved and informed has not been met with enthusiasm or appreciation, but rather, with animosity and defiance.
Clearly, we have tread where previous citizens have dared not tread…into the realm of Governmental oversight. Something the ‘powers that be’ in New Albany are entirely unfamiliar with, and conspicuously uncomfortable with.
In return, we have been the recipient of much advise, and admonishment.
It never fails to amaze me who pops out of the woodwork, so-to-speak, when we have taken our inquests too close for comfort in examining the workings of the current administration. It also becomes very clear where the real power lies, and who the real decision makers are.
Obviously, they presumed that we had managed to blow a huge hole into some inner-sanctity of City operations when we produced our information concerning the Sanitation bids, FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES. The subsequent behavior of certain individuals, both from within and from without(proclaimed), the Garner administration has been deplorable.
Attempts to interrogate Council members, accusations of "felonious" behavior, pointing fingers at Council spouses, and proposing the intentional spreading of outright lies and unethical conduct, reasoning there must be some aim at personal aggrandizement, is all quite despicable.
We must have hit a very exposed nerve, as the entire Garner entourage simultaneously, blew a gasket. Stomping their feet, and insisting the information must be wrong, apparently because the Rumpke bid was the very last to arrive... within mere minutes of the deadline, it barely made it in!!! hmmmmmmmmm.
We applaud the cries for adoption of Ethical Behavior rules, but we strong suggest the fishing expedition be taken a little further upstream if you want to search for the slippery buggers. Without such codes to hold the entire administration, along with every Board member, and every Commission position, to some sort of code of ethical standars, many decisions and actions are apparently undertaken at free will.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

a href=" title="external link"> Why We're Here (again)

I hate feeling as though we've lost ground on the purposes we had in mind in creating this blog. But, apparently, there are still some folks out there who just cannot find it within themselves to believe in, or respect, those purposes.
So, I suppose we'll spend some time reiterating our purpose, and restating our goals. We will also throw in a few topics that are of particular concern, and ask some questions for folks to consider as they go about their lives, and work, here in New Albany.
Foremost in our minds, as we tackle issue after issue, and defend ourselves from unrelenting sophmoric attacks, is the fact that EVERYONE in New Albany deserves to know what is going on in the business of the City, the spending of their tax dollars, and the representation they recieve by their Council member elect.
It is our intent to provide information on issues relevant to the citizens of this town, and to provide as much insight, detail, and background circumstances on these issues as we can. This will continue despite any intimidation tactics that may, or may not, be applied by certain political factions.
Everyone also has a right to Speak Out Loud, about the things that concern them, the issues that confuse them, the problems that worry them, and the information that burdens them. We will continue to provide the forum for these discussions, despite the ire it generates from 'intellectuals' who find it more entertaining to ridicule grammer and spelling skills than to engage in useful discourse. Too bad.
People have these rights by virture of the fact that they are a citizen of New Albany. These citizens are also allowed to have differing opinions and alternate viewpoints, than other citizens might have. We will not belittle, bash, insult or otherwise be disrespectful to these citizens viewpoints. Slinging mud serves no purpose, and I mean this in respect to EVERY commentor.
Everyone also has the right to NOT put themselves, their jobs, or their families, in any kind of harms way, due to their viewpoint or opinions on issues discussed.
We will continue to allow anonymity, with all its inherent difficulties, because we are dedicated to giving EVERYONE a voice. We have made this policy clear from the get-go, and we will maintain this policy despite the hostility and frustration it generates from other bloggers. Names don't matter, opinions do.
Our goal is to empower the people with knowledge about what is happening to their Town. They have the right to know. We hope to encourage more citizens to get involved, to pay attention, to be concerned. As it has become so very obvious that what we are told, and what actually happens, often turn out to be two distinctly different episodes. We must hold people accountable to the jobs they are supposed to be doing.
From Redevelopment to Code Enforcement, to the Building Commissioner, to the Planning Commission. The Board of Works, the Sewer Board, the Drainage Committee, the new Stormwater plan(?), Downtown revitalization efforts, zoning and enforcement.
Issues that concern us, and by all reasoning, concern everyone in New Albany.
The bleak financial situation of the City, and the fiscal decisions that are made, often in spite of these financial difficulties.
The infrastructure in the City is literally crumbling. Buildings, gone too many years without care, are beginning to topple and destroy one major assest of our community, our architecture.
The sidewalks, in some parts of town virtually non-existant, in others, brand new. Who chooses?
The sewers. They still don't work. After $41 million in "repairs"? No. After $41 million in "expansion". The inner city sewer lines are a disaster. We can only hope the Federal agencies will step in and help us. This has become a health issue.
The multi-million dollar Scribner place. Proposed to be paid for with borrowed bond money, backed by property taxes, of a citizenry who doesn't even want the damn thing, and the City Attorney will pocket a cool $300 thousand. It belongs on a ballot, just like the Boat, and boy, did we ever miss the boat on that one.
Losing City services like Sanitation. Privatization is a sure road to escalating costs, and loss of control.
Rate hikes and new fees that most folks won't even know about until it hits their bills. Once again hitting New Albanian's where they can least take it, in the wallet.
I could go on and on, but I'm afraid I'll get carried away and say something I shouldn't. So, let's leave this where it is, and let's all get back to the one biggest mission of all... A Better New Albany.
There's enough to talk about without dragging Politics into it. 'Nuf said?

Now, in the interest of others who may wish to approach things in a different way, there is a new blog in town. The link is up on this front page to Freedom of Speech.
Check it out, but I don't think they are allowing comments.
I welcome new bloggers, and wish them success. We may even discuss some of the issues here that are posted on Freedom of Speech.
However, I must submit a disclaimer that the content of the postings on other blogs are the sole sentiments of the administrators that created it, and are not necessarily representative of the Speak Out Loud NA blog, as we will continue to assert our distaste for political campaigning or politically motivated content.
Best wishes to you all, and we welcome you to the wonderful world of blogging!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sanitation Sub-Committee Findings (1)

A Council Sub-Committee was set up to examine the sanitation department regarding costs and expenditures. They were to make recommendations to be considered before final determination was made to dismantle the department and put 25-30 New Albany citizens out of work.
Let me first say that the following scenario is possible because a small group of folks who care, sat down and took a long look at the way the sanitation department is functioning, or rather malfunctioning, and made some important discoveries that could lead to better, more efficient, operations.
It is a classic case of reorganization and restructuring that any business must undergo from time to time in order to remain effective and viable.
Rather than throwing up hands and succumbing to “bankruptcy”, or failure to succeed due to mismanagement, these recommendations set a new course for success by eliminating unnecessary costs, and streamlining efficiency with a sensible approach to fixing the things that have, with time, become an ineffective way of conducting business.
The results of their work are contained in a written report that recommends a two-year transition of core points of operations within the department. If these recommendations are followed, the results would entail;
The employment of 32-35 living wage jobs, collectable payroll taxes on approximately $1 million annually, preserving city control of sanitation services, and a 2006 department surplus of approximately $34,000 dollars. This is in stark contrast to a 2005 estimated department deficit of more than $550,000 dollars.
More importantly, if the sub-committee’s recommendations are followed, in 2007 the department could produce $687,000 in profit revenue.
I submit that there are still additional considerations and opportunities, which could substantially impact the surplus in a positive nature. We will discuss these other opportunities at a later time. For now, let’s take a closer look at what the sub-committee came up with.
Right now, we are trucking refuse to a company known as Bi-Co, which is located in Louisville off Fern Valley Road. The cost for this procedure is $31.50 per ton, which includes a fee for the “transfer station”.
The recommendation is that the City would run it’s own transfer station, and then take a 36-yard “roll-off” trailer to the Clark-Floyd landfill at a cost of only $21.00 per ton. This change would produce a savings of $207,267 per year in dumping charges alone. It appears to me that they may not have calculated the fuel savings that will accompany this change, which we can assume will be substantial due to the enormous change in mileage. The fuel costs for 2005 were estimated at $59,322 dollars.
Another reorganization recommendation, which is a sore spot for many residents, is the issue of recycling. Currently, we are spending about $18,000 annually to dispose of recycle materials. Plus, there is another $2,000 in directly related expenses with the method we are using. However, there is a local vendor that would PAY US for an estimated $10,000 annually for commingled recyclables. It is recommended that at least one “Big Red” truck, with the separate bins, be used exclusively to pick up recycled materials every other week. This would maximize the usability and reduce wear and tear on these awful monsters, that will be our free and clear after one more year of payments.
For the benefit of persons who are not up to speed on the costs and payments for the "Big Red" trucks and the 96 gallon monster cans, let me catch you up on this bumbling of funds.
When the previous administration, Mayor Overton, decided to make these purchases, the Council approved payments to be made for the trucks out of Riverboat funds, and the cans were to be paid from EDIT dollars. Contrary to the Council edicts, these costs have been attributed to the Sanitation budget, and are included in the "budget shortfall" that Mayor Garner continues to espouse. The cans alone had a total cost of $589,525 dollars, and will not be paid for in full until 2007 when we make the final $121,000 installment. By the fall of 2006, the trucks will be paid in full. I am searching for the total costs of the trucks and will provide this number in a following comment.
This information is only the beginning. Part 2 will be posted soon, so stay tuned.
Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, December 01, 2005


The Sanitation Union has submitted a bid to continue providing service to the City, and we would like to add some additional things to consider about the advantages of retaining our existing crews and how the department can function in the black by making some very basic changes in the way things have been done.
As we have been looking very closely at the sewer department situation lately, and hearing that a rate increase is "unavaoidable", the costs attributed to supporting sanitaition services have risen to the top. Looking closely at these costs, it has become evident that the mismanagement of several key decisions about procedure have obviously led to the exorbinate yearly budget that has been espoused by some of the Sewer Board members.
For example, we have been lugging loads of trash to a landfill over off Fern Valley Road, rather than using the landfill opportunities right here in town. Not only are there major differences in costs of dumping, but with gasoline prices at thier highest point very recently, this method is all but just plain stupid.
Secondly, we have been paying a company to take what bit of recycling material we manage to collect, yet there is a local company that would actually pay us for recyclables.