Something slouches toward Chico – garbage tax about to become a reality

16 Mar

I’ve been trying to follow the garbage “franchise agreements” at both the city and the county for over a year now, so it’s frustrating to all the sudden see people bitching and moaning, just as the deal is about to become done. The county has announced their new rules – you get the hauler they choose for you, and like me, a lot of people who have had nothing but problems with Waste Management in past have liked the service they’ve had from Recology, and they’re not taking the switch laying down.

When residents of Forest Ranch showed up at a last minute meeting called by District 3 super Mo Kirk, they were mad they hadn’t heard anything until now. Kirk told them it had been in the agendas – that’s going to cost you in 2018 Maureen.  I hope you realize, you just lost a lot of votes in Forest Ranch, a lot of them only having realized who you were about two weeks ago. Now they know, and they won’t forget to vote.

 I’m in the city, also in Maureen’s district, but I’m waiting for the details to come out about the city’s deal – Chris Constantin has been refusing to answer my questions, saying it’s still in the works. One thing he has told me is that service will be required in the city limits – you will have to either sign up with the hauler they hand you or you will have to get a permit to haul your own garbage – that’s if they approve of the vehicle you’ll be using.

The county, according to Paul Hahn, is not requiring residents to sign up for service. It may be a requisite in Paradise, where they signed a deal with Northern Recycling and Waste Services that significantly raised rates. I’ve asked Constantin repeatedly – where are the plans for a low-income garbage subsidy? If the city is going to require that we sign up for garbage service – including those of you who have been sharing service with a neighbor – then they must have a plan to subsidize low income households. No, I’m not a lawyer, I’m a decent person, and that’s what decent people would do.

My family has shared with our tenants for years, and we have a lot of friends and neighbors who find this to be a solution to “all those trucks in the neighborhood.” I’ve also known and heard about people who’ve made agreements with their neighbors to select the same hauler. I’ve heard from a lot of people who got together with neighbors over problems with Waste Management service, and switched as a group to Recology. I’ve told  Chris Constantin I had problems with WM for years before switching to Recology, and I want to stay with Recology.

It’s time to make noise people. If you are unhappy with this deal, I’d recommend writing a letter to the Enterprise Record or News and Review. Follow it up with a letter to council. CC Mark Orme mark.orme@Chicoca.gov  and Chris Constantin chris.constantin@Chicoca.gov

Letter: Taxpayers should be wary of Chico garbage deal

Taxpayers should be wary of Chico garbage deal

I do not want the same folks that negotiated the union contracts giving city firemen $200,000 a year negotiating the city’s garbage rates. When was the last time city negotiators had the taxpayers’ best interest in mind? I can’t remember any.

This isn’t Hemet. Chico taxpayers know the real reason for “franchised garbage” is so the city can bank the six or seven figure “franchise fee” from the haulers. The fee is really a “garbage tax” because the ratepayers will pay it every month in fees. As is typical, the tax will be squandered by the city to pay their exorbitant salaries and benefits.

City streets were designed for firetrucks, garbage trucks and empty city busses. The streets are falling apart because of the lack of routine maintenance. Cracks in asphalt have to be sealed, which is cheap preventative maintenance, otherwise water gets in and the freeze-thaw cycle breaks up the asphalt. There is no money to seal the cracks because we are squandering millions paying city firemen three times what they are worth.

If city streets necessitate the garbage tax, let’s dedicate every cent of the franchise fees as additional funds for street maintenance, in addition to what’s already being spent. Ha, ha, that will never happen.

As always, private enterprise would better serve the taxpayers than city control. There are already reports from the county that rates have doubled since the county adopted “franchising.”

Everyone will see who the real tax-and-spend liberals on council are with this one.

— Bill Smith, Chico

Something’s malodorous about new garbage deal

On March 1, new trash hauling rules began for the citizens of Butte County. Three waste hauling firms were granted hauling services by zones. The three firms are Waste Management, Recology, and Northern Recycling Waste Services.

Last August I switched from Waste Management to Recology since the three other homeowners on my four-house cul de sac were using Recology. Having an extra-heavy waste hauling truck breaking up our privately owned road made no financial sense, so I went with Recology to limit the heavy truck damage to our road.

At that time Waste Management was charging $58.27 for three months service while Recology was charging $68.07. Now I’m forced back with Waste Management at a price of $102.52, almost double the prior rate.

And if that isn’t enough of a kick in the head, they only pick up recycling every other week instead of weekly. I’ve no option but to put recycling in the weekly trash pickup every other week.

To coin a phrase, “Something’s rotten in Denmark.” This situation has a corruptive odor.

— Steven K. Sterzer, Chico

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