Wednesday, February 18, 2009

World Discussion Blog

I've undertaken a new blog called World Discussion.

That space is designed to discuss national and
international issues about social, political,
and economic considerations and to advance
relevant theory. Personal attacks and naughty
topics will not be tolerated. Please stay on
topic although drift will be tolerated as ideas
grow from one realm to another.

It isn't an Iron County Michigan oriented blog.

The new blog can be found at:

Bill Vajk

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's the point of being a silent victim?

Ben Smith proposed the following idea to the two Iron County
Michigan Yahoo sponsored discussion groups. I think it a good
idea as well. - Bill Vajk

Many if not most of you spend time, wallowing
in concern? about the state of the USA.

What can you do about it?

Send a contribution to some professional Baiter?

Call a number that never connects you directly
to your representative ?

Sit back and wring your hands ?

Whereas ! !

Here at home you can look your elected officials in the eye.
Of course in return they will cross their arms and roll their
eyes ! But you do have the opportunity to organize people
that support your position.

Shall we begin with the formation of

" The Iron County Open Government Group"

If any of you think it's a worthwhile effort, let me know and
we'll schedule a meeting.

Ben Smith

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

City of Iron River garbage collection (modified)

The proposed Iron River solid waste disposal
ordinance modifications, with a public hearing
scheduled for February 18th, will result in
penalties without rising to meet State of
Michigan and US constitutional requirements
for due process.

Further, the language of the ordinance is
constitutionally vague. Will six 15 gallon
tall kitchen garbage bags be viewed as equal
to three 33 gallon garbage bags? Other
combinations? Who will make the judgment call,
a contractor's employee?

In my opinion, the City of Iron River should
not be in the garbage business at all. The
past practice as well as the proposed
ordinance places all the financial risk on
the City. The City, in turn, is prohibited
by the Michigan Constitution from making any
profit whatever. If we were doing things the
American way, all risks would be assumed by
the organization that makes the profit. The
City also becomes the collection agent. Even
for as simple a function as billing, for
profit organizations invariably get the job
done at a lower cost to the customer.

There are arrangements other than the offer
on the table that do a much better job of
providing the necessary solid waste disposal
services, and do so without the depth of
municipal involvement being discussed and
unnecessarily repeated.

In other parts of the country where garbage
collection is not included in the property
taxes, the municipality takes bids for
garbage disposal and grants a franchise for
residential services to the lowest bidder.
The franchisee provides the service
contracted for and bills the homeowner
directly. In my last experience before
moving to Iron County, Waste Management
billed me quarterly. That business model
has been tested and proven efficient and
effective. The municipality may be entitled
to some small franchise fee in exchange for
such oversight as is provided.

New Text is in bold italics

I have been told of some movement to
introduce a prepaid bag/tag system where
the garbage collector would only pick up
garbage in containers that have a prepaid
status. Four problems immediately surface.

The first is that this scheme removes the
responsibility from the property owner and
transfers it to tennents at rental properties.

If you've ever been a landlord you understand
what this could mean to your property.

The second has to do with the contractor
accepting all the profits from such a
business while assuming absolutely no
business/financial risk.

The third is that prepayment is taken for
services not yet rendered.

Fourth: Should the contractor decide to
impose an increase in fees, they have only
to issue a new design of bag or tag leaving
those who have a supply of the old style
simply stuck with having spent the money
for nothing. ( I have personally experienced
this event with Waste Management being
the service provider for yard waste!)

Would the City of Iron River sue on behalf
of the citizens to enforce the contract?

What do you think?

I urge the City of Iron River to completely
rethink how solid waste disposal is being
managed. I object to the proposed ordinance

Bill Vajk

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