The following is a (very slightly edited) press release sent by the Stop the Mega-Dump group.

The Stop the Mega-Dump citizens’ group is asking the DeKalb County Board not to turn their backs on the citizens of Cortland again. Citizens of Cortland Township have petitioned the Cortland Township Board of Trustees for a special meeting to vote on a resolution that would prevent any landfill expansion in their township. The special meeting will be held on the evening of Tuesday May 18th, the day before the DeKalb County regularly scheduled board meeting. However, the county has added an earlier meeting of May 10th at 7:30 to vote on the landfill expansion application by Waste Management Inc. Read the rest of this entry

Two Mayors in the Paper Today

The mayors of DeKalb and Cortland each stood his ground on matters of conscience today in the Northern Star.

–In a letter to the editor, Mayor Povlsen defends his decision to keep applicants to the 3rd and 7th ward alderman positions secret, equating and applying a “code of ethics” he followed as a counselor at Ben Gordon to his current, public responsibilities.

Mayor Seyller frames the landfill as an either-or question — either the county approves the current expansion proposal or we have to truck our garbage out — and he bemoans the opposition’s having “tied kids to it.” Bonus quote: “I don’t know for a fact but I would think that there is another school somewhere on the face of the Earth that is within a mile away from a landfill.”

–What the heck. Let’s throw Pam Verbic in here, too. The new Third Ward alderman answers the Star‘s questions about her new job, noting that she also works full-time elsewhere but not sharing where that “elsewhere” is. If Ms. Verbic still works for Barb City Manor, a property owned by the City of DeKalb and funded by its TIF 2 District, we have a right to know.

Mega-Dump Poll & Facebook Group

There’s now a “Stop the DeKalb County Mega-Dump” Group on Facebook.

The group needs officers. I’d apply if it were a sure thing that certain members of local media would somehow try to fit my involvement to the “vengeful losing mayoral candidate” frame that some folks love so much. Alas, it’s been almost a year so I’m bound to become just another citizen activist any minute now.

*wink*

When people say, “I am not making this up,” as the public works director did last night in explaining the lack of competitive bids for waste pickup, I begin to wonder about the occasions when they don’t say it. You?

*****

Mayor Povlsen is still calling comments he disagrees with “misinformation” based on a continued presumption of residents’ ignorance of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Here is a challenge. I’ll put together a quiz team of eight citizens from last night’s audience to compete with City Council in an exercise to test TIF knowledge. We could call it the TIF Olympics. Let’s hold it on Halloween — I think the results would be pretty scary from the residents’ point of view, if Mr. Baker’s confession is any indication. Read the rest of this entry

CPI & Waste Management

The City of DeKalb is getting ready to approve a new 4-year agreement with Waste Management (pp. 122-128) for residential pickup of trash. One proposal is to tie increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), allow for a minimum annual increase of 2% and cap it at 6% no matter what fuel prices are doing. Staff have rejected that option, so Monday Council will consider a contract containing a 0% increase the first year but then 4% per year for subsequent years through FY2013. Staff prefers this plan because “the volatility of fuel pricing would place unnecessary risk upon residents and such a pricing plan would not be in the best interests of the City.”

Prices per “service unit,” then, would jump from 14.62 to 16.45 over the life of the contract — but wait! This may yet be a moot point because the city could opt to sign on to the “Toter” program citywide upon termination of a pilot program March 31, 2010. If the “Toter” program is adopted by DeKalb, households would be charged $17.79 initially, with three raises of 4% each by the end of the contract. In other words, we could go from the current rate of $14.62 to right around $20 by the end of FY2013.

By comparison, the worst-case scenario of a 6% annual increase over the 4 year contract period would result in an FY2013 rate less than $18.50.

The maximum unnecessary financial risk to residents, then, will be posed by the city itself under this plan.

Renew Our Trash

catbox1

Yes, that is a cat box. Sorry about that but the city started it by deciding that they think they know best on dictating how people take out their trash. Although called a “pilot” program at this point, as described in the Daily Chronicle article, my guess is the city will put this program in place. I do not believe this is a cost-savings plan. Instead, this gives the city the opportunity to make everyone’s trash look the same. DeKalb would look like some sort of Yuppieville, with matching garbage cans. I do not need nor want a trash can. I certainly do not want to be forced into buying two new ones. How will the city buying trash cans for everyone save citizens any money? Read the rest of this entry