South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Oakville Republican Club urging county to repeal trash-district plan

A resolution urging County Executive Charlie Dooley and the County Council to reverse legislation establishing trash districts in unincorporated areas was unanimously approved last week by the Oakville Township Republican Club.

Starting Jan. 1, all waste haulers in the county will be held to a new minimum standard of service, which includes once-per-week pickup of trash and recyclables as well as twice-per-year pickup of bulk waste. But what many south county residents have protested for much of 2007 is a provision that would strip them of the right to choose their own waste hauler.

“We are calling on our brethren from the other area political organization, the Oakville Democrats, to join us in a bipartisan request to County Executive Dooley and the County Council to overturn the legislation passed in December of 2006 and let the citizens of south county choose their own trash hauler and get the county out of the trash business,” Oakville Township Republican Committeeman Kurt Witzel stated in a news release.

“Somehow, the citizens have gotten this done for 60 years without the help of county government and we don’t need to have our taxes raised to pay for another level of inefficient county bureaucracy to get our trash picked up” he added.

Club President Bob Haul stated in the release, “We would hope that the Democrats would join us in calling for the reversal of this ill-conceived legislation passed by a Republican-controlled council and signed by a Democratic county executive in late 2006. This is more of a citizens’ rights and community issue than a partisan political issue.”

Oakville Township Republican Club members voted Oct. 4 to approve the resolution.

Attending the meeting were County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, and Rep. Walt Bivins, R-Oakville.

During a Sept. 24 public forum at Affton High School, county representatives heard from roughly 60 speakers of more than 500 residents overwhelmingly opposed to the trash-district system being implemented in unincorporated areas.

County officials have speculated that unincorporated areas would be divided into eight to 10 trash districts and that those districts would be implemented through a phased process between Jan. 1, 2008, and Jan 1, 2009.

At the same time, residents in subdivisions in unincorporated areas still will have the opportunity to choose their own hauler.

Based on preliminary recommendations from the county, it would take two-thirds of a subdivision’s trustees to opt out of the trash districts. Subdivisions, however, still would be required to bid for the county’s new minimum standards of service of once-per-week pickup of trash and recyclables and twice-per-year pickup of bulk waste.

The full resolution approved by Oakville Republicans states:

“Be it resolved that the Oakville Township Republican Club strongly believes in the free enterprise system of competition in business. We also believe that the ‘least government is the best government’ and that the role of government should be to only do for the citizens collectively what they can not easily do for themselves individually.

“As such, we strongly disagree with the legislation passed by the St. Louis County Council, and signed by County Executive Dooley late in 2006, that restricts county residents from selecting their own trash haulers and denies individuals the ability to negotiate and contract with whatever trash haulers they want. Citizens of St. Louis County have had this right of ‘trash-hauler choice’ for over 60 years and we do not believe it is in the best interest of taxpaying citizens for the county to create another level of bureaucracy by becoming ‘the trash hauler of St. Louis County.’

“We strongly encourage County Executive Dooley and the St. Louis County Council to reconsider this action and re-turn ‘freedom of trash hauler choice’ to the people of St. Louis County.”