It has become evident that the task force appointed to study the causes of Crisp County litter and to recommend solutions for the abatement of that litter had a predetermined agenda for instituting mandated curbside residential garbage collection for all of us.
I feel sort of duped because I stumbled blindly into what sounded like a worthy endeavor and found myself involved in what turned out to seem like a "dog & pony show" put on to veil the pre-determined purpose of curbside collection.
Being a relative newcomer to Crisp, I can see "with a new pair of eyes.” Therefore, I see a very comprehensive trash problem, and curbside collection addresses only a minor portion of it.
However, throughout the duration of the now defunct task force, during subsequent commission meetings, and in the Dec. 21 forum, an overwhelming majority of the discussion has been directed toward whether or not to institute curbside collection.
Here's a surprise. We need not institute it because we already have it! Veolia is presently collecting garbage from many homeowners, and the service for your residence is only a phone call away. They'll sign you up quicker than you can say, "I'll pay."
It’s purely a commercial operation, and our county is not involved, therefore not responsible. Users of this service report that they pay $31per month.
So, why all the argument and insistence upon MANDATORY service? In our last forum, I heard the words, "Mandatory" and "put it on the tax.”
I am extremely put off by the MANDATORY and TAXATION philosophy of solving this problem. Here's what I find to explain those two terms in this context: MANDATORY entered the picture because the collection company/companies reportedly stated that they must have all the county residents as customers in order to provide the service for a "reduced" fee.
A little research reveals that Lee County residents pay $23, but they report approximately 10,000 customers delivered to the collector, and they enjoy another benefit - a fifty year contract with guess who, CRISP COUNTY, to accept and be responsible for all their waste at a pre-determined fixed price.
Did you know that we are responsible for disposing of all of Lee County's residential waste, regardless of how much their county grows for approximately 27 more years? I believe this contract was entered when gasoline costs less than $1 per gallon.
Use this rough information to form your own opinion of what our per household fee shall be and remember that we only have about 3,000 customers to offer a collector and that we have no one to guarantee the cost of our disposal for 50 years or even for one year.
Run these few figures in your mind and you'll see that our commission is proposing to have us enter into all the liability of being involved with a commercial contractor in a stated attempt to save somewhere between $0 and $8 per month for each customer. Do not be deluded by the figure of $18 per month which you have heard. I find no one who is receiving curbside service in southwest GA for that price.
Leaping before one looks is the type behavior that produces entrapment into 50 year losing contracts. It is for these type reasons that I advocate thoroughly researching our problem and carefully planning our program before we move to MANDATORY SERVICES and NEW TAXATION.
I want everyone who wishes so to have curbside garbage collection service. I want everyone who wishes otherwise to have the freedom to decide for themselves.
I want none of our citizens to be FORCED to have any type of service. My garbage is my responsibility, and I am accountable for it. How I manage the disposal of my garbage should be my choice because I am a free American.
As to "putting it on the tax,” I am simply against any form of NEW TAXATION for any purpose whenever it can be avoided. If our county remains uninvolved in the curbside collection business it shall be easy to avoid that particular tax.
I hope that we overflow the courtroom forum meeting on Monday night, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m.
Remember, it’s your county and that's your forum. Please come and speak up and tell your feelings. If you are silent, you shall have no say in your taxation or your freedom.