Tag Archives: garbage

Videos: Garbage falling off trucks @ LCC 2014-03-25

If the County Commission hadn’t privatized garbage collection, Frenchie could have registered his complaint about garbage falling off trucks through the new turnkey government website service once it’s online. No mention of the annexation request by the City of Hahira from the Work Session.

Commissioner Powell noted the three SPLOST VII projects were “a direct reinvestment into the community of those funds”. The road resurfacing of four roads is actually mostly from a GDOT LMIG grant, but the other three, shoulder paving on Val Del Road and Boring Pond Road and a bridge replacement on Cat Creek Road are all from SPLOST VII funds. Plus some trucks for Animal Control and tablets for the Fire Department, an alcohol license, and some alphabet-soup agreements, one of which turned out to be for a grant for a victim advocate position in the Solicitor General’s office.

Here’s the agenda. See also the previous morning’s Work Session.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
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VDT should dig deeper into county trash

The VDT should dig deeper into the finances of Lowndes County trash collection. Nobody has ever seen an accounting of where where the money went for the county’s former waste collection sites, so nobody knows whether the county was really losing money or how much, and the county’s version of how those sites had to be paid for doesn’t match state law.. Sure, Bill Slaughter defending a decision made when Ashley Paulk was chair is amusing, but instead of transcribing what county officials tell it, the VDT could find lots more under the county’s garbage with a little digging.

Jason Schaefer write for the VDT Thursday, Concerns continue over garbage agreement: Business owner argues case against County

The County is not required under Georgia law to issue RFPs to any company for waste disposal services, according to Slaughter. That decision was made in a good-faith effort to find the lowest possible rate for garbage service for the citizens of Lowndes County, he said Tuesday.

Is that the point of county government, to act like Wal-Mart? Is money the only value the county government can name? Everyone I talked to about the trash issue in 2012 who already had a waste collection card said they’d be willing to pay more to keep the sites open. Maybe if the county had held public hearings they would have learned that.

And does anyone believe ADS’s rates are going to stay that low? Look at Wakulla, Florida, where it’s $196/year. But the bigger question is why did the county privatize trash collection anyway?

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Fair bidding practices and community public input —Barbara Stratton

Received today on County trash plan already failing. -jsq

Yet another example of government contracting not following the fair bidding practices or allowing community public input. Even if you attend government meetings no bid information is made public & even if bids are referred to the amounts are always in those elusive "packets before you" that only the members have access to.

In a recent Hahira City Council meeting the city attorney ruled that the city council did not have to put out the garbage service for bids & that it did not even have to have a contract. As of December 31, 2012 the city collection services will not be under contract at all so who knows what the rates may be or if a lower bid would have saved citizens money?

Barbara Stratton I've been involved in government contracting for years & I can tell you that the recent path government bodies have endorsed is leading further & further away from the bidding procedures that were enacted to prevent good old boy politics & kick backs & is opening the door wide for public/private partnerships that never answer to the citizens.

The state attorney general's office which should regulate bidding practices will not interfere with county or municipal issues unless a citizen is willing to pay $500 to a lawyer to present the case to them. They justify this as catering to "home rule" but in actuality they are turning a blind eye because it is within their jurisdiction to rule on non-adherence to proper bidding practices.

If the state believes in "home rule" why is Governor Deal pushing a state charter school board amendment that will take away local rule? The state seems to pick & choose its standards.

-Barbara Stratton

-jsq

The socialized costs and privatized profits of waste disposal

In her response to my post about Commissioners panic about trash at undisclosed location, Barbara Stratton seems unfamiliar (like most people) with economic externalities. Here’s a definition:

A negative externality occurs when an individual or firm making a decision does not have to pay the full cost of the decision. If a good has a negative externality, then the cost to society is greater than the cost consumer is paying for it. Since consumers make a decision based on where their marginal cost equals their marginal benefit, and since they don’t take into account the cost of the negative externality, negative externalities result in market inefficiencies unless proper action is taken.

When a negative externality exists in an unregulated market, producers don’t take responsibility for external costs that exist—these are passed on to society.

Which is socializing the losses. A famous ongoing case of this is BP making record corporate profits while dumping huge amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, continuing to destroy shrimping, wetlands, wildlife, and local people’s health.

And that’s what the County Commission is doing: privatizing the profits of trash pickup and socializing the losses onto landowners (who have to pay for fences and gates), onto the general public (who have to pay for law enforcement to catch dumpers), and onto those who can’t afford to pay for private dump fees (who will get stuck with fines instead). That is indeed, as Barbara says, “redistribution of wealth”: redistribution from the rest of us to the private waste pickup companies.

The Commission is ducking its responsibility to find an equitable solution that everyone can afford. Funny how they can deal with special tax lighting districts for subdivisions but they claim they can’t come up with a way to publicly fund waste collection. Could it be because all the voting Commissioners are town-dwellers who don’t understand that rural people don’t have exactly the same needs or resources as city people?

Barbara advocates,

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Avoid crony capitalism or conflict of interest —Barbara Stratton

Received Monday on Commissioners panic about trash at undisclosed location. My response is in the next post. -jsq

There are many injustices of socialism and redistribution of wealth (or garbage) and I’m glad to see you recognize this in the shifting of illegal dumping costs to landowners. I am also glad to see that at least the county is talking about privatization and not public/private partnerships (so far). When Hahira almost succeeded in placing a regional waste transfer station on city owned property
REZ-2007-32 City of Hahira, 0028 027 6751 Union Road, 2 lots, R-21 to M-2, DRI
I was concerned that the county was complacent in this because the Lowndes Board of Commissioners November 2007 meeting minutes showed they agreed to rezone the property for the purpose of the transfer station against the recommendations of the county planner, Jason Davenport. That rezoning action replaced a DRI (Development of Regional Impact) request for waste transfer station rezoning so it was easy to assume the county and possibly the region had a mutual agenda for the transfer station. During a recent discussion on the dangers of regional government with Valdosta mayor, Larry Hanson, I asked if the transfer station was a regional interest. He assured me the City of Valdosta had no knowledge and no interest in that transfer station prior to articles in the Valdosta Daily Times. I’ve not had an opportunity to discuss the possibility of mutual agenda with the county and if it comes up again in the future I am assuming proper procedures will be followed which mandate public meetings and input into the planning before a third DRI is entered, not after.

I worked a contract for the IT of a Pensacola, FL software company that had waste management software contracts all over the US. It was my job to be

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