Over the past few weeks and months, the Call has regularly reported on two stories: St. Louis County’s plan for trash collection in the unincorporated areas and the Mehlville Fire Protection District board’s effort to let district taxpayers vote whether or not to approve a tax decrease. In both cases, the articles leave me wondering.
The stories I’ve read about the trash plan always mention that our County Councilman, John Campisi, voted in favor of establishing the districts in December 2006 because he was misled by former 3rd District Councilman Skip Mange. According to the articles, Mr. Mange allegedly told Campisi that the districts would not be confined to one hauler and that the proposal would have designated two days per week for trash pickup while still allowing all residents to choose their own trash haulers.
I’m wondering if anyone has asked for Mr. Mange’s side of the story and what he said in reply. More importantly, I’m wondering if Mr. Campisi read the proposed plan before casting his vote and why he didn’t go to the person responsible for the plan, County Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls, if he had questions about the plan or needed clarification before making his decision.
In the case of the articles I’ve read about the tax-rate-decrease measure, I’m wondering why the board doesn’t have the right to lower the tax rate if they believe it is appropriate to do so without coming to district taxpayers. And if the board has this right, why would it want to spend money on a lobbyist to get legislation passed to do something they already have the right to do and then spend more money to put the measure on a ballot?
Perhaps I missed the articles that would have answered my questions. If not, then perhaps the questions can be addressed in future articles regarding these topics.
Gerald M. Kulage