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STATUS

NOTE:   The petition on ORDINANCE 18-40, submitted 09/27/2018, has been certified as containing more than the minimum number of valid signatures required by City Charter.   The petition on ORDINANCE 18-39 -- signed by most of the same people, plus many others -- will be submitted in mid-October.  If you are holding petition forms with signatures, please notarize and turn them in now.

  

HOW MANY SIGNATURES do we have?

When is the DEADLINE?

Because two ordinances are involved, we have been circulating TWO petitions and we have two sets of deadlines.

6,200+ residents signed BOTH petitions.

  

   

Meanwhile, city officials and haulers have been working overtime to enforce oppressive garbage rules and circumvent referendums on two garbage ordinances.

   

Minnesota's Senator Amy Klobuchar, on September 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:

"I come from a state that believes in process..."

"Right now, the way this process is run, we're not running it like We the people.  It's being run like We the ruling party."

   

PLEASE:  Contact Elected Officials.   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 a report from the Ramsey County Elections Manager and on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the Council will determine byresolution 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 6,458+ signatures, was submitted on October 16, 2018.)  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 the people.

   

 

Quick Answers

ORDINANCE #

18-40

Precludes sharing & opt-out (plus other details).

Amends existing Chapter 357 which has allowed sharing & opt-out for many years...

18-39

This "Main" Ordinance
creates new Chapter 220.

Rules, prices, etc. for entire program; including NO sharing & NO opt-out

PETITION SIGNATURES:     Minimum REQUIRED 4,932 4,932

    ● "SUBMITTED" to City Clerk

    ● "CERTIFIED" as Valid

5,919

5,071

6,458

- pending -

    ● "HARD" - In our safe-deposit box; not just speculation.
                      If not turned in, we assume they don't exist.
-X- -0-
    ● "SOFT" - Turned in as of 10/01/18; need to be verified.
    ● "SOFT" -
TOTAL 
-X- -0-
    ● REQUIREMENT "CUSHION" - to offset any rejections by city -X- 1,526
Initial DEADLINE DATES
    ● Turn in signed petitions to organizers (ASAP please)
     
Please turn as many as possible today
-X- -X-

    ● Organizers deliver signed petitions to City Clerk
      If FEWER than ~5,000 signatures, this petition FAILS

-- DELIVERED --
September 27, 2018

-- CERTIFIED --
October 8, 2018

-- DELIVERED --
October 16, 2018

    ● See "detailed answers" below for follow-up information    

NOTE:   If you have been gathering signatures, please turn in your completed forms.

  

Detailed Answers

  • In August and September 2018, the St. Paul City Council adopted four new "garbage program" ordinances. 

  • Voters (We the People...) are petitioning the City Council for a referendum (city-wide vote) on TWO of those four ordinances, 18-39 & 18-40.  (See Documents to Download)

  • The city's "job" is to reject as many invalid signatures as possible.  We (voters) aim to collect and submit more than the minimum number required.  And, we will keep on collecting after our initial deadlines - in case too many signatures are rejected the first time around.

Referendum Update

Trash Ordinance 18-40

        On Wednesday, October 10 we were notified that 5,071 of the signatures we submitted in support of our petition # 2 seeking a referendum on Ordinance 18-40 are valid.  This means that we succeeded in obtaining the number of signatures required to hold a  referendum on that ordinance.  Many, many thanks to all of you who helped to make this possible.  News reports stating that the city council is planning to repeal this ordinance appear to be supported by the council's  Resolution 18-1760.

Trash Ordinance 18-39

        On Tuesday, October 16 we submitted 6,458+ signatures in support of our petition # 1 which seeks a referendum on Ordinance 18-39.  Certification of valid signatures is pending -- we are confident that we submitted more than the minimum requirement of 4,932.

     

ORDINANCE #

18-40

Precludes sharing & opt-out (plus other details).

Amends existing Chapter 357 which has allowed sharing & opt-out for many years...

18-39

This "Main" Ordinance
creates new Chapter 220.

Rules, prices, etc. for entire program; including NO sharing & NO opt-out

This chart data was updated as of: 10/12/2018 15:30 10/16/2018 11:00

PETITION SIGNATURES:     Minimum REQUIRED

          (per City Charter Sec. 8.02(1))

4,932 4,932

    ● "SUBMITTED" to City Clerk

    ● "CERTIFIED" as Valid

5,919   689 Pages

5,071

6,458   755 Pages

- pending -

    ● "HARD" - In our safe-deposit box; not just speculation.
                      If not turned in, we assume they don't exist.
-X- -0-
    ● "SOFT" - Turned in as of 10/01/18; need to be verified.
    ● "SOFT" -
TOTAL 
-X- -0-
    ● REQUIREMENT "CUSHION" - to offset any rejections by city -X- 1,526
Initial DEADLINE DATES

The 45-day count-down clock starts ticking on the day an ordinance is published.

Adopted 08/08/2018
Published 08/13/2018
Adopted 09/05/2018
Published 09/10/2018
    ● Turn In signed petitions to organizers (ASAP please)
     
Please turn as many as possible today
-X- -X-

    ● Organizers deliver signed petitions to City Clerk

      If FEWER than ~5,000 signatures, this petition FAILS

-- DELIVERED --
September 27, 2018

-- CERTIFIED --
October 8, 2018

-- DELIVERED --
October 16, 2018

Ramsey County's Elections Manager (under contract with the City) will verify and accept/reject every signature.  Count of valid (accepted) signatures will be reported.  If rejections result in fewer than minimum number of required signatures, petitioners will be notified that they have 30 additional days to submit additional signatures &/or correct other issues.

Follow-up SIGNATURES and DEADLINE DATES
    ● Additional signatures required (to "replace" any rejected) -X- -tbd-
    ● Turn in additional signed petitions to organizers -X- -tbd-
    ● Organizers deliver additional petitions to City -X- -tbd-
Once again, the City will verify and accept/reject every signature.  Count of valid (accepted) signatures will be reported.

    If MORE than ~5,000 signatures are certified as valid, the City Council will decide if this petition is SUFFICIENT.

    If FEWER than ~5,000 signatures are certified as valid, this petition FAILS.

Final Result -- Is Petition Successful?  Or did it Fail?

If Successful - Saint Paul's City Charter (Sec. 8.05 - Referendum) states that this ordinance "shall be suspended in its operation as soon as the petition is found sufficient."

Sec. 8.05 goes on to say, "If the ordinance...is not thereafter entirely repealed, it shall be placed on the ballot at the next election, or at a special election called for that purpose, as the council shall determine. The ordinance...shall not become operative until a majority of those voting on the ordinance...vote in its favor."

  

Status as of 10/12/2018:

ORD 18-40 -- More than enough valid signatures were submitted and certified.  If entirely repealed by the City Council, a referendum on 18-40 will not be necessary.

ORD 18-39 -- Petition with 6,000+ signatures will be submitted in mid-October.  What's next -- will be decided by the City Council.

18-40
   

-- Report --

Resolution 18-1760 [text]. Adopting the report of Ramsey County Elections finding that the petition for a referendum on Ord 18-40 is sufficient.

Ordinance 18-xx to Repeal ORD 18-40. Anticipated after adoption of RES 18-1760.

?

18-39

  

?

Note: The Council's resolution 18-1760 (adjacent column, to left) will not directly affect the garbage program's implementation via ORD 18-39, nor will it render unnecessary the still-circulating petition on ORD 18-39 which, with 6,000+ signatures, will be submitted in mid-October.

?

   

And then what?   If a referendum is held, and if voters reject one or both ordinances, we believe that the Contract -- without its operative ordinance(s) -- cannot be implemented (i.e., cannot be put into operation, cannot be utilized, etc.). 

  • A City official explained: "...The adoption of the ordinance simply allows the City to implement the contract...

But, the contract was signed many months ago.  Carts are here now.  Isn't it too late to change the program?  We say, NO, it is not too late.  In the rush to organize household trash, the City of St. Paul (and Bloomington) apparently decided that MN Statute 115A.94 preempts citizens' rights to "interfere" with the City's trash plans via petitions.  As we see it, that anti-voter thinking was overruled in June 2018 by the MN Supreme Court.  

  • NOVEMBER 2017:  St. Paul's oppressive and financially-skewed Contract was signed -- bolstered, apparently, by trial and appellate court decisions, the cities of Bloomington and St. Paul were confident that MN Statute 115A.94 preempts citizens' rights to interfere, via petitions, with a City's organized trash plans. 

  • MAY 2018:  Affected households received initial program details. 

  • JUNE 2018:  The MN Supreme Court reversed lower court decisions regarding preemption via MN Statute 115A.94.  See RECENT NEWS, below.  

  • JULY-AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2018:  New trash ordinances drafted, introduced and adopted. 

  • AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2018:  Delivery of trash carts and initial bills.

  • SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018:  St. Paul voters file petitions for referendums on new ordinances. 

Adoption of the garbage ordinances simply allows the City to implement the contract.

  • Recent News (MN Supreme Court, June 20, 2018 - below) indicates that: 

    • St. Paul did it "backwards."

    • MN Statute 115A.94 provides guidance, but it does not preempt St. Paul voters' rights to bring petitions.  Instead, these new garbage ordinances are legislative acts that establish a policy or law.

    • Public scrutiny of final language, public testimony, and formal adoption of ordinances should have happened FIRST.

    • NOT ten months AFTER the badly-designed contract was signed. 

According to Saint Paul's City Charter, the people shall have the right, via petitions, to:

  • Require (new) ordinances to be submitted to a vote (see Sec. 8.05 - Referendum);

    • This is what "our" petitions are doing.

    • As we see it, this right to petition and require a vote:

      • existed long before St. Paul's garbage contract was signed, 

      • is NOT preempted by MN Statute 115A.94, and 

      • should not be shoved aside by hasty publicity plus an onslaught of garbage carts. 

  • Propose new ordinances (see Sec. 8.04 - Initiative)

    • This is what happened in Bloomington

    • RECENT NEWS (June 20, 2018) - Seven months after St. Paul signed its garbage contract:

      • MN High Court Rules for Citizens Fighting Bloomington on Garbage 

      • Jennissen v. City of Bloomington 

      • The City of Bloomington declined to place a proposed amendment on a ballot on the ground that MN Statute 115A.94...preempted the "field" of regulation of the process by which a city organizes waste collection.

      • The Supreme Court disagreed.  As explained here, the unanimous 6-0 ruling upholds the standing of citizens in home rule charter cities (e.g., St. Paul) to bring petitions and place legislation on the ballot apart from and in opposition to the city council.

St. Paul's new Garbage Program:

  • Creates an unfair and skewed financial structure that severely overcharges and intentionally targets "low waste" and multi-family households...while handing modest price increases/decreases to many single-family properties.

  • Forces thousands of targeted households to pay monthly charges to haulers for thousands of empty, unwanted and unnecessary trash carts.

  • Hands millions of "excess" dollars each year to: 

    • Haulers who, while receiving additional cash, will save (but not share) real dollars via increased efficiency

    • Ramsey County (@28%) & the State of MN (@9.75%) who will assess fees.  Fees that are not based on volume or weight of what is actually hauled; but instead, fees that are based on St. Paul's mandated PRICES -- Prices that include the cost of those thousands of aggravating empty trash carts.

  • Favors the city, the haulers, the county, and the state ... over, and at the expense of, "the People."  (See Real-Life Examples)

We urge voters to sign petitions now, and in a future referendum to reject the disputed ordinances -- after which the Haulers and City can try again to negotiate terms that  Make the Program FAIR TO ALL

  

NOTE:   If you have been gathering signatures, please turn in your completed forms.

     

This petition drive is a first step toward
achieving these GOALS:

  • Ability to Opt Out
  • Ability to Share Containers
  • Reduce Excessive Price Increases
  • Reduce Excessive Space Requirements
  • Make the Program FAIR TO ALL
Real-Life Examples
Financial & Space Implications
Then What?

Petitions now.  What's next?