Today's Poll: Which option do you favor for Batavia trash service?
Keep the current system for one year while working out a true Pay As You Throw system that does not require a city contract, that bills based on both size of pickup and number of times, that offers a pre-paid bag option, that offers an opt-out, and that offers residents the option to take recyclables and/or trash to appropriate sites at reduced cost.
A tote system is fine by me IF it is fair and is not unilaterally imposed. There should be an opt-out and residents should be allowed to pursue more cost-effective solutions that meet their own needs. Get away from the big contract an unfairly burdening low garbage producers and efficient citizens.
Howard your question Accept ARC's bid over the lower Allied bid, still go with the automated tote system, and accept a smaller reduction in taxes. is wrong.....Tax reduction will be the same...The cost of the tote will be more.....................
Those are VERY flawed poll questions.
Robert hits the nail on the head. The assumption inherent in your poll Howard, is that the tax savings suggested by the city are acurate numbers. How about an option that says, " I don't believe we have enough imformation to determine the true cost of the city's proposed service. I still don't believe we have heard anything from the city on how much taxpayers are going to spend on this investment in publicly owned totes. Dd I miss that critical piece of information somewhere? How can we determine if there are ANY tax savings until. we know how what the investment on trash totes will be? Lets get all the numbers.
The proposed budget lowers taxes approximately 14%. It's in the first paragraph of the article below the poll.
Jim, we have the numbers. See the Jason's comment.
As far as I can tell, these are the three choices for City Council. Robert's suggestion of kicking the can down the road is really inherent in the second choice. To delay the decision for a year would mean to forgo the 14.5 percent reduction in taxes for 2013 and accept 21 percent increase in spending for the proposed 2013 budget.
Mark, costs would go up with ARC's bid ... perhaps there is a mistake in the poll that it wouldn't mean higher taxes, but it would mean higher fees. Somebody would have to pay more.
I changed option 3 to say "accept higher costs" rather than focus on taxes.
I don't live in the city, so I don't have a horse in this race per se. What I can't understand is why a certain service provider has to be mandated and paid by the city. I can guess why, but won't because it's only a guess. Why aren't people allowed choice? Like Robert Brown suggests above. Competition lowers prices and improves service. Always. That way noone is subsidizing anyone else, and everyone has the opportunity to dispose of their trash in the manner that suits them best. Mr. Molino and the council are constantly complaining about the mandates imposed by the state, yet have no problem dropping mandates on the citizenry. Youknowwhat rolls downhill and I usually need a big umbrella.
Upon re-reading my above comment, it looks like I'm suggesting someone in the city government is getting a kickback or some other sort of bribe. I am not implying that whatsoever. My guess, and again it's only a guess, would be that the city hopes to take in more revenue than it pays out for trash pickup and then use the surplus for other expenditures. If I was a city taxpayer, I would be against doing that.
There's probably some economies of scale for a company that hits all of the homes vs. companies that only hit a few of the homes each.
Just getting a truck and crew out the door and on the clock for a defined period of time is going to be a fixed cost and the more pick-ups per hour the lower the cost for each customer. Pick ups spread out over a greater distance, even just from the half of one block to the next, would mean higher costs per customer for the vendor, so the vendor would have to charge more.
That's where the creativity and ingenuity of the American businessman comes into play. If a company has a truck out, they will try to find more customers to serve along the route. 3 or 4 companies working the city all trying to be as efficient as possible = lower prices and better service. Some folks will pay more to work with a certain provider for their very own reasons: ie ARC. Cheapskates, like me will work them for a better deal. Some like Robert suggests and like we used to have here in the Town of Alabama, will set up a compacter site and every Saturday we used to take our trash there and pay per bag. There were recycling bins there as well and those were free. We don't have that anymore and pay a private to pick it up. I have at least 3 I can think of to choose from and recycling is part of it, I do pay more than is being proposed to the city residents but there are a hell of a lot less houses in Alabama than Batavia and spread out over a much larger area.
Government solutions do not work
I don't follow, Dave. The proposed budget takes the savings and reduces taxes.
There may be revenue from recycling. I still need to understand better what becomes of that revenue, but are you saying it shouldn't go into the general fund (which would essentially help keep taxes lower)?
I said it was only a guess. I truly don't know. But to answer your question, yes I am saying any revenues made from a service being charged to taxpayers should be returned to those taxpayers in the manner of a rebate. Taxes do need to be lowered, but not by raising a fee somewhere else.
ARC is a "non profit" who, according to posters on this website, doesn't pay prevaling wages, probably overcharged the citizens of Batavia $6,000,000 over 30 years on a no competive bid contract and didn't even bother to answer the Citys request for a bid for the next 5 years.
Tim, ARC did submit a bid.
Imagine how lawn care companies work, many of them in fact, within the city. They all provide estimates. If you don't want one and opt to do it yourself, you can. Some offer more services and perks than others. Some offer blanket coverage over a set period of weeks/months, some offer a pay per visit plan. They all exist and have crews on the road and make money and most employ local people. The consumer has a choice, has THE choice.
Get government out of the trash business period. Let Allied, the ARC, and whomever else who has a business send out information to the citizens and ask for our business. Give us options to visit a collection site ourselves, truly pay per bag or go with a term contract per property, and reward recycling.
Reduce my taxes and let me use my freedom of choice for garbage service.
Lawn care is privately contracted, or you can do it yourself ... and a lot of people rarely cut their lawns. If not for code enforcement, it's pretty clear there would be more yards that are unsightly and a fire hazard.
Snow removal, contract or do it yourself. The city doesn't enforce the snow removal ordinance for sidewalks. We had one resident on our street who left more than a foot of snow covering the sidewalk in front of his house for a couple of weeks until it eventually melted. Similar lack of snow removal could be spotted all over the city.
Tell me again how this is going to work to let everybody just take care of their own garbage, because it works so well for lawn care and snow removal.
(BTW: I'm not arguing for government provided lawn care or snow removal, just pointing out how impractical the "just let everybody do it themselves" argument is).
As I said before, there are certain basic functions of government. Police protection, fire protection, and such. Health and sanitation is included. This is a sanitation issue. It's the government's responsibility to ensure refuse is removed from populated areas in an efficient and timely manner.
Impracticality comes from the belief that government is the answer, the solution provider, the enforcer, the parent, the educator, the all with all.
Practicality comes from a community working together to solve issues fairly. The current proposal was crafted in a relative vacuum then compacted down our throats with divine ultimatum.
Out of the 7,000+ parcels in the city there are statistically very few that are left unmowed for any period of time. There are and always have been countless sidewalks left unshoveled or plowed over mostly because of the continues confusion between the city doing it, then not doing it, then doing it occasionally, etc... If it was clear that the city only maintains city property and that the property owners are responsible, maybe just maybe we'd actually work together to get it done. People can solve problems especially with government clearly out of the path.
Government having a responsibility to ensure refuse is removed efficiently and timely for sanitation reasons does not mean government should be in the trash removal business. Set the guidelines and allow us to pay based on our needs.
Henrietta NY has a tote system, but allows it's residents choose which company they contract with. Here's a link to their site which gives the names of those companies:
Howard, if someone is that much of a pig that they would let their garbage pile up in the yard, basement, garage or wherever, (my apologies to swine) the city assigning a nice tote for them is not going to change that behavior. Certainly there has to be some sort of code enforcement, and judging by your comment, the city does not do a good job of that. That is a separate issue. With freedom does come responsibility.
Robert, Contracting with a lawn company is one thing, garbage another. I can cut my own grass and take the clippings to the waste disposal yard. Where would I take my garbage?
If we went with everyone contracting on their own for pickup, would you have it regulated as to which day? Not sure I would like garbage five days a week.
John, you can take your garbage away, you're just not given the opportunity to do so.
The garbage and recycling already goes somewhere. Tell us where. Give us back the freedom to explore how best to get it there. Do we already have a recycling station in the city? Why not allow us to take our recyclables there? If we are truly going to be fair about garbage pickup, allow us to pay per bag as we need it, not with some thick layer of heavy sunk costs that disadvantages the people doing their utmost to minimize trash.
I don't care if there is garbage pickup on set days. There isn't a set schedule for lawn mowing and the noise and traffic is just as intrusive if not more so than garbage pickup.
Howard, we have been given budget figures that suggest a 14% tax savings with the proposed plan. However wont we just be billed for a service that we were previously being taxed for? Aren't we just calling this a fee instead if calling it a tax? Am I mistaken about this? If this is in fact what is happening, then I believe it is disingenuous for the city to talk about double digit tax savings. What are the real savings? However, Regardless of the true savings, I cannot believe that the city can procure garbage totes with tracking chips as economically as I can get my own without any beed for tracking chips. why are we wasting money on this? Finally I continue to find the no opt out clause to be well beyond the scope of the city's power or authority to enforce. It is within the scope of the city's responsibility to ensure that waste is disposed of in a timely and proper manner by city residents. Dictating how we do that is paternalistic and presumptuous. It demonstrates a lack of respect for our freedom of choice. Too many fundemental issues with this plan to jump on board. I hope that city council will choose to revisit these issues rather than ignoring them.
John, I have a neighbor in the city who currently contracts privately to have her garbage picked up. I don't believe the city regulates that. Nor in my mind should it be regulated. Do we really want the city telling private businesses what days they can conduct business on what streets? Please save me from that. Lets ask the city to do less, not more. How about if we just focus on the important functions for a city government instead of wandering into the realm of private business? New laws mandating the purchase of a government service may suit people who want government to be all things to all people, but it comes at the high cost of loss of personal choice.
I have no problem with everyone contracting for their own pick up. I do think it's time to require cans/totes as opposed to bags now due to rodent control needs.
I also doubt I would be able to get the service cheaper than a City wide contract, due to the economies of scale, over a period of years. But I am not against your idea.
I also think it is time for the City to get out of the housing business. It is time to consider putting the Batavia Housing Authority and its 4 apartments complexes up for sale and put the properties on the tax role. We have no business competing against private apartment owners.
Jim i agree on the no opt out clause...But there is an opt out clause for businesses..If they can then so should any other person..This a great idea to get this out of the property tax bill..But it should be done in a different manner..If we really want a pay for what you use system then it should be pay per bag..Council needs to get more involved and come up with other options..I have tried to call my council person but still have gotten no response.I suggest all call their council person and find out where they stand on this issue..Were do all who sit on council stand on this issue...ARC must also realize that this is not set up as a jobs program but as a service that each property owner should have the choice to dispose of their trash by what means they see fit in accordance with city code...
What I find humorous about this whole issue is that we can debate it all we want, give our opinion and so forth, but we're not being asked.
There is no public vote, so it will come down to City Council.
So really, why are you taking so much time to educate me on something that I have no say in?
Freedom is the culmination of Education and Choice. Sure, I may understand the program, but I have no choice within it. This is nothing more than a shell game.
And just for the record, the numbers don't add up. Everything that they posted, shows me that the average household will pay more.
Go look at that fact sheet, look at the "average yearly cost" with ARC, and then look at the tax savings rate on the levy. It's roughly a $1.60, or so? OK, well a house assessed at $100,000 pays about $160 per year in garbage. This program is costing you $198. Do the math, if your house is worth less (which is mine and many others), you pay more. If you house is worth more than $120,000ish, you'll save. maybe.
Again, if you want' to really educate, give me an apples to apples cost breakdown, but here's the thing. They really don't have to, because they're going to do it anyway.
Not trying to be negative, but if the city really wanted our opinion, they'd put it up for referendum.
I say that about the School Board and the North Street Extension property. If the School Board put selling that property up to a referendum, I bet it would have been gone years ago. But just School Board is like Council, it will do what it thinks best.
Phil your voice in this will have to come thru your council person and at large person...Call them and give them and ear full...They all wanted the job of council person make them do their job..
The property is going up for sale, John.
Yes, John, but you forget a HUGE difference. You as a tax payer get to vote on our budget every year. Which means it is our job to educate you on what and why we're doing, and then YOU get to decide.
We are not given that choice with the city, county, state, etc...
Why is that?
Phil, because laws made by other people. Not sure a government entity like a city can have a contingency budget like a school district if the budget was voted down by the public.
Can you tell us when the property will be offered and when the decision to sell was made?
It is in the beginning phases, and an agreement was voted on last night to have Mancuso be the Realtor.
And John that argument is weak. Why is it perfectly acceptable to ask one entity to do, but not another. What I hear in that response, "I honestly don't know, Phil". Which is where I'm at.
My point is that you, as an individual, has more power over the school budget that the city because of your vote, so comparing the two like you do is non consequential..
It's not a defense, or even an argument. It was just that as I understand it, some entities like school districts can have public budget votes and some can not. I might be wrong, but I know of no government body (City or Town) in New York State that has public votes on their budgets. Do you?
Not too sure, but do large school districts like Buffalo have public budget votes?
According to Mr Molino, ARC did not respond to the Citys 1st request for a bid.
With the open letter from ARC's Donna Sakowski it looks like there is more of an issue here than we thought. The city seems to assume they can do what they want irregardless of what we who voted them into their positions want. And they are doing it at the expense of people with disabilities. While trying to dangle the carrot of lower taxes. I am beginning to feel insulted and believe they are taking their cue from our County Govt with the way that they handled the GCEDC bonus issue. Phil, my question now is if your Libertarian party believes in fiscal responsibility, and less intrusion by the Govt this "open letter" is beginning to indicate that there is a need to look into both going on here with this issue.