Trash Fee Risks

Here is the text of my comments from the January 11, 2016 Council meeting on why I chose to vote against holding trash fees unchanged for 2016.

I am troubled that the Council is considering taking no action on a number of potential problem areas embedded in our trash rates. We have some classes of customers who pay more than cost for the service they get, while others pay less.

In and of itself that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, to the extent the differences are encouraging behaviors more consistent with long-term public health and safety. Unfortunately, they are, to me at least, inconsistent with the legal framework within which the fees must be set.

We began to take steps a few years ago to reduce or eliminate these risks in our fee structure. Suspending that progress will just kick the can of risk down the road. Sometimes that’s a reasonable thing to do. Often, though, it ends up being more expensive.

I have no desire to raise anyone’s trash fees. But I am going to vote against this resolution because I think it exposes our community to risks which, if realized, will be painfully expensive.

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