What's our signature count?
Give your opinion of St. Paul's new garbage
program and the process by which it has been "rolled
out." Explain how the program, as currently designed, affects
you, your family, and/or your neighbors. The City Council received
from the Ramsey County Elections Manager and on Wednesday, October 17,
2018, the Council will determine
by resolution the sufficiency of our
petition on ORD 18-40.
(Note: The Council's resolution
on ORD 18-40 will not directly or immediately affect the garbage
program's implementation via ORD 18-39. The petition for a
referendum on ORD 18-39, with 6,000+ signatures, will be submitted in
mid-October.) Honest input ahead
of the Council's resolution can help to clarify the depth of citizens'
disappointment, frustration and more. Although the two petitions and
anticipated referendums are not an immediate opportunity to re-write The
Contract, constructive criticism can provide ideas for how (someday,
maybe) to do it over and get it "right." Let's start
running this like We
you have been gathering signatures, please turn in your completed
& notarized forms.
"arrived" in October 2018, in St. Paul. Residents and owners of
privately-owned 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-unit buildings are encountering
significant changes. (See Trash Cart
Mandate) Legislative ordinances that allow the
City to implement this new "garbage program" did not receive
public hearings and were not adopted by the City Council until August
2018. (See Send Comments)
the fine print before you pay your garbage invoice.
image to see an "offer" the
of St. Paul says you can't refuse.
And, note the
"start-date error." ORD 18-39, allowing the City
to implement its garbage program, was not effective until
October 10th. MEANWHILE, haulers are charging
from October 1st, thereby demanding payment for an extra
nine (9) days of overcharges for empty, unnecessary and unwanted
forget your Permission Slip.
your hauler(s) -- This one is not mandated by the City.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, on
28, 2018, was
not talking about the organized collection
of our household trash. Her underlying message can, however,
be applied to local policy-makers. Senator Klobuchar's
closing words to the Senate Judiciary Committee ring all too true
in Washington, DC, and in St. Paul, MN:
come from a state that believes in process..."
now, the way this process is run, we're not running it like We
the people. It's being run like We the ruling
For decades (probably since
Residents have been allowed - even
encouraged - to share trash containers. Although sharing
benefits our community and almost always saves space and dollars,
the City's new "garbage program" disallows sharing and
Can residents in my tri-plex continue to share one
large trash cart? NO!
Your tri-plex will
receive and must pay for THREE trash carts at double or triple
last year's cost. NO sharing. NO exceptions.
I was told that I can keep one cart and return two unwanted carts. Will my
garbage fees go down? NO!
All units in your
tri-plex will be billed, and must pay, for THREE
carts. Returned carts will not lower your cost. NO
opt-out. NO exceptions.
of us have been encouraged to "Reduce, Re-use,
Recycle." In doing so, many of us aim to become
"zero wasters." Some of us generate just one small
bag of trash per month which we deposit in a helpful neighbor's
trash cart, or we hand-carry to a local transfer
Because the City and a consortium of Trash Haulers signed a five-year
contract that says so.
believe that at least some of the new rules are unreasonable.
Others take issue with the process by which the City entered into a
five-year contract with Haulers. (See Problems)
Although today this
is limited to small buildings, its roll-out can be seen as a trial
balloon for eventual changes to be forced onto all privately-owned
Not surprisingly, publicly-owned [e.g.,
City-owned] residential dwellings are exempt from these mandates --
a nice loophole that saves
money, space, and administrative hassles.
Paul's "no sharing" policy forces thousands of targeted
households to pay monthly charges to haulers for thousands of empty,
unwanted and unnecessary trash carts. And then, Ramsey County
(@ 28%) and the State of MN (@ 9.75%) will assess fees -- fees that
are not based on volume or weight of what is actually hauled; but
instead, fees based on St. Paul's mandated PRICES.
overall cost of city-wide organized collection should be cheaper,
NOT more expensive. But,
of this contract (to be paid by consumers) is
up about $11.6 million per year, not
by local analyst John Genereux)
the city failed to fully engage with its citizens and failed to truly listen to
the concerns that have been voiced for more than a year.
unneeded and overpriced carts cluttering the already limited space in
alleys and yards.
(See Community News)
care about neighborhood aesthetics. We
believe that “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” is important.
have jobs. We are retired. We rent. We own.
We ride the bus. We drive. We budget.
are working hard to rein in and re-envision the process by which the
City of St. Paul entered into its ill-advised 5-year garbage
contract with trash haulers.
St. Paul voters - not the City Council - should decide whether to approve or
reject the garbage ordinances as they exist today. (See And-Then-What?)
schools, charged with educating our children, must ask for
additional funding via referendums.
Meanwhile trash haulers and the city's bureaucrats have been working overtime
to circumvent referendums on new garbage ordinances. Apparently it is
faster and more cost-effective to shake down residents via mandated
price-fixing plus unneeded, unwanted and overpriced
"service." It could be called city-sponsored extortion.
beg -- Haulers plus the city, county and state...smile.
A referendum is the process by which a
legislative ordinance adopted by the City Council is then "referred"
or submitted to a vote to be taken by the city's residents, allowing the people
to either approve or reject that ordinance.
signed by voters may be delivered to the City after an ordinance
is adopted, but will not be accepted more than 45 days after
adoption & publication (i.e., this process works for new ordinances, not old
right to petition and require a vote (per City
long before St. Paul's garbage
contract was signed in November 2017.
In August and September 2018, the Council adopted four new "garbage program" ordinances.
the City's garbage contract was signed way back in November 2017,
today's newly-adopted ordinances are what allows the City to
implement the terms of that contract (i.e.,
no ordinance = unused contract). Assuming that referendum voters
will reject today's ordinances, we urge the City and Haulers to step back
and give this hot-button issue the thoughtful consideration it
deserves but has not received.
are petitioning the
St. Paul City Council for referendums on two of the four "garbage
18-39 & 18-40. (See Documents to
two ordinances are involved, we circulated TWO petitions, we have two sets of deadlines, and
6,000+ St. Paul residents signed BOTH at the same time. (See Status)
We submitted more than the required minimum number of valid
signatures for Ord. 18-40 and will do so a second time for Ord.
please turn in completed and notarized petition forms.
2018, was our initial deadline
-- which, in part, precludes (prohibits) "sharing" via
revisions to existing code language.
hand-delivered 5,919 signatures on 689 pages of paper to the
county elections office.
October 8th, the elections manager certified
5,071 signatures as valid -- more than the 4,932 minimum required.
October 15, 2018, is our next
18-39 -- which created an all-new code chapter that allows the
city to implement its new garbage program.
its own language, "This
Ordinance shall take effect and be in force thirty (30) days
following its passage, approval and publication."
Thirty (30) days following its publication on September 10th was
October 10, 2018. Not October 1st.
have collected and will hand-deliver an additional
6,000+ signatures on 700+ pages.
It is an enormous task.
Thank you for joining