Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trashing Toledo over Trash Collection

The previous Mayor and the current Mayor are trashing Toledo over trash collection, we have been under siege for 5 years and it is reaching of level of ridiculous. Here are the travails of Toledo trash as it has evolved:

Former Mayor:
· Eliminated recycle programs, as they were expensive and useless.
· Fined if trash put to the line before 7:00 p.m. (he thought it unattractive)
· Pick ups moved from alleys to streets (alleys were too cluttered but he would not clean them)
· Collection routes consolidated, employees cut
· "Leap forward" program initiated to eliminate Saturday pick ups after holidays
· Automated trash collection equipment purchased to replace old, antiquated trucks and further reduce crews. Now one-man crews rather than 3 man crews
· 2007 added trash "fee" in budget
· Council approved the "fee".
· Extolled the fee as a way to increase recycling from residents.
· Extolled the fee as a way to maintain our "Cadillac service"
· 2008, Council moved the "fee" from the budget to an ordinance.
Current Mayor
· Raised the refuse "fee" to bump up the general fund coffers
· Council approved the increase.
· Said he would discard "Leap forward" program, too confusing, but has not, we continue to live with color coded calendars.
· Residents must call for bulk pick up (24 hours in advance changed to 72 hours notice,)
· Proposed change to bulk pick up per quarter only, $50 fee for additional
· No longer pick up bulk trash from evictions sites.
· Proposed $300 fine for overfilling refuse bins
· Allow residents to purchase another bin for $75; however may incur an additional fee for pick up.
· Proposed a fine if a resident says they recycle but they do not

Since passage of the trash "fee", the amount of the fee has been a moving target adjusted to reconcile a bloated general budget, which is out of control. These are the expenditures for trash in years 2004 through 2008:
· $10,324,386/ 2004 Expenditure
· $10,840,653/ 2005 Expenditure
· $11,348,331/ 2006 Expenditure
· $11,716,547/ 2007 Expenditure
· $11,348,181/ 2008 Budget

Where is the justification for the fees charged for trash in addition to the income taxes paid into the general fund? Resolve the budget, not with more taxes, fees and fines; but through hard decisions, which must be made. The current direction of this Administration as with the previous Administration is trashing Toledo over trash collection.