Leadership in PTC: Garbage in, garbage out

Cal Beverly's picture

Notes on the UNplanned nanny city:

Here they come again, those nameless, faceless bureaucrats out of the bowels of Peachtree City who are determined — even after past rebukes — that you will get a single trash pickup service forced onto you, and it will be the one the city picks.

[CORRECTION:] The staff favorite currently operates as one of nearly a half-dozen pickup companies doing business inside Peachtree City. [Corrects a misstatement about the company's operations in Peachtree City.]

Oh, and just as an aside, the City Council — abetted by its clueless Planning Commission and city staff — is about to vote to annex land for which there exists no development plan.

Now, that’s a modern first for even the declining quality of leadership that we Peachtree Citizens are stuck with.

I’ve been a PTC resident for 31 years, covering news there beginning in 1982, and I cannot recall there ever being an annexation proposal for which there existed no future development plan.

Instead, this same clueless UNplanned commission and the city UNplanner say to the well-known Fayetteville deep-density developer, Scarbrough and Rolader, “Come on in without a plan. Who needs a plan? We’ll annex your 5-acre-minimum county lots into our sewered city with one-acre lots, give you vested legal rights to seek a higher density zoning, and make you right at home in our once-planned city. Bring on the unplanned density.”

Early geeks had a saying about the quality of data input to a computer: Garbage in, garbage out. That’s where we are with leadership in Peachtree City.

With a straight face, Mayor Harold Logsdon uses over a page of the taxpayer-financed city newsletter to tell us free-market cretins why a city-mandated trash pickup is really in our best interests, despite our ignorance of the virtues of the nanny state.

The mayor’s argument is that the city wants to protect our city streets and delicate neighborhoods from those big, bad garbage trucks. He implies with a straight face that one city-picked service will send in fewer, more polite trucks than four free-market services.

Does the mayor expect that the total cubic yardage of garbage generated every week will decrease just because there’s only one carrier? Does the mayor really think that for-profit haulers currently are running empty or nearly-empty trucks through our streets just to cause noise and asphalt wear?

Folks, there will exist the exact same amount of garbage to be picked up, spread out over the same multiple days of the week, picked up by the exact same number of trucks as now.

The mayor and council can repeal the free market in Peachtree City, but they can’t repeal the laws of physics.

The one and only difference will be that all the trucks will have the same logo, the same brand, the brand chosen by the bureaucrats, the mayor and the council.

And to whose benefit?

Not mine. And I think, not yours.

But the city bureaucrats will have control, and can cite increased complaints as reason to increase the bureaucracy. And expect the city to charge for the privilege of mandating our trash pickup provider; one way or the other, the city will get its cut.

As for the annexation, let’s see who to vote out next election.

Mr. or Ms. council person, vote YES for an unplanned, unnecessary annexation, and get voted out next time you appear on the ballot as having demonstrated terminal unfitness for leadership in a supposedly planned city.

Vote NO to a historically bad UNplan, and give us beleaguered PTC taxpayers some hope that at least some of our elected officials retain some sense of responsibility to those who elected them.

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Submitted by ulatunge on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 5:05pm.

A perfect description of your paper

Submitted by Nitpickers on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 4:03pm.

I'm for one and only one that is cheaper and controlled by rules or out they go!

They will pick up a whole neighborhood when they pickup. We will only see one truck a week!

This much business for one company should reduce the charges.

Submitted by ethridgew on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 6:42am.

Please fully research a subject before making comments of this nature, if for nothing else to allow yourself the opportunity to offer an intelligent contribution to the problem at hand not just an YEA! it's good! I do not mean to be abrupt but really, this issue is complex in it's very nature and the ramifications of a thoughtless commitment to a contract could be disastrous.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 3:54pm.

I can't make you be for this plan, you can rail about it all you want.

BUT I will say, if you don't understand how using one company on a once a week route would keep multiple trucks out of each area, you are the one confused. I see all 4 companies up and down my street at least 2 times a week.

Submitted by TTT on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 3:21pm.

...an appropiate description of the content of most of this newspaper. Bravo, Cal, Bravo.

Submitted by cantkeepmequite on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 11:04am.

First you say you (CLM) are(is) the "largest residential provider in the state" I called the other companies and ask them this question and from what I gather they have more customers than you do so that was just an outright lie. What you can say is you are the largest INDEPENDENTLY owned residential provider in the state and since I could not even start to call up every provider much less know who is actually independent I guess your (their) word will have to sufice. WHERE YOUR (their) COMPLAINTS COME FROM DOES NOT MATTER DOES IT? YOU (they) HAVE 10 X'S THE AMOUNT OF COMPLAINTS AND A QUARTER OF THE SIZE. A unhappy customer is a unhappy customer or are you saying that your (their) customers in Clayton County are some how not worthy of consideration when it comes to customer service?
SECOND, I called your (their) Pratt Industeries and was told that THEY DO NOT RECYCLE GLASS, I also called another recycler who informed me that there is a process called co-mingle which they recycler seperates the material and if it is a small amount they will accept it but it will be discarded and the hauler will be charged for the load, SO do your home work before responding we have fought this battle a long time and you are just coming in.

Submitted by cantkeepmequite on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 6:19am.

It will answer a lot of questions, I do like the fact that Mr. Beverly made reference to the provider picked by the City but I wish he would have also let every one know that this small provider who is half the size of the other companies has 10 x's the BBB Complaints, When a large corporate company has 6 BBB Complaints and a small company has 70 THERE'S a Problem, One question is why didn't the selection committee have enough due diligance to check this before recommending? or did they? and what did they do or promise or give to get heads turned? (Just asking) Everything I have read that comes from The 2 supporters of this is always the same. unrealistic comparisons and we the citizens get called names and told how stupid we are for saying no to it. I guess I answered one questions, they tell us why we need it and how good it is because to them we are stupid and don't know any better. We keep electing these people why?
And THANK YOU Mr. Haddix, the one member who seems to be looking out for the city. Attend the Nov. 6th meeting and stand up for your rights and let the Mayor know for about the 15th year that no means no.

Submitted by Coolhand Luke on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 9:05am.

You keep saying that CLM is smaller than all other companies in Atlanta. They are actually the largest residential hauler in Georgia and that is why the BBB takes that into account. Every other hauler you site is a landfill company with a few hauling companies too. But they are no where in size comparable to CLM and according to state websites CLM has been in business for over 20 years.

It is one thing to stay on point about your hatred for the franchise agreement but another to bash someone for no reason and unfounded truths.

Submitted by UrKidding on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:53pm.

If for some reason the city decides to use a single trash provider and I don't want to how is it going to be enforced? Strong arming me to use a single provider is like only allowing Kroger to build here (sorry Kroger no offense). What's the difference? Grocery stores, Wal-Mart Kmart, three or four tire stores, countless resturants some are more eco friendly than others and they give back to the local community differently, prices are different but the city can't pick and choice if they do business here.

WE THE PEOPLE decide who we do business with. Am I'm willing to bet we take those things into consideration when making a purchase? I do!! And they know this so they are competing for our business.

Submitted by Dondol on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:27am.

I spoke with a Lawyer friend of mine last night and he said that the City can not make you use the preferred trash service if you chose not to. There are enough land fills around that if you want to take your trash there you can (but who wants to), but the City can not force you to use/pay for a third party service that you do not want or need.
I currently use CLM and the service is adequate, but God help you if you need to call them and talk to someone. Last time I did it took over 25 minutes for what should have been a 2-3 minute call.
Otis (Mayor) you need to go over to Andy's jail and lock yourself in for the night and sleep this off!

Now just why in the Hell do I have to press 1 for English?

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 9:56am.

How folks confuse the City saving them money on trash with shopping. But like I've said elsewhere on this thread, opinions vary.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 9:17pm.

I am voting against the trash service for a list of reasons.

As for the annexation that is not a ball I got rolling. Another Council did.

But, I understand the legal issues involved in trying to say no now. We get sued, costing us money, lose, costing us more money, and the property gets annexed anyway.

As for the 35 acres, again, an issue I did not create. But, it is illegal to create county islands within a city.

I did oppose the annexations when initially proposed. But now that is water under the bridge and I have to deal with current realities, even when I do not like them.

The Supreme Court has been clear on issues of vested rights. This is one of those.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:43am.

We may not always agree on everything, but your input here is very much appreciated by this Peachtree City resident.

Thanks for your work.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:48am.

It would be a strange world if everyone agreed on everything every time.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 3:58pm.

Give me a break. That is exactly what my street sees on Tuesdays/Wednesdays. It could be better. As one City resident, I can tell you I am for it. I've lived in Cities that handle it, and you see one truck once a week.

As to the City creating an island, you are exactly right. It can't be done.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 10:49pm.

Some would see reduced truck counts and some more trucks under this proposal. Trucks can also be reduced by HOA's and neighbors working together.

But that wasn't the real point I came on to make. This plan does not reduce to one truck per route, as many are believing. It is two trucks per route per week, one for trash and one for recycling. So no one should think this means just seeing one truck a week anywhere.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:06am.

When I first moved here the city had a "prefered provider". Which was ok. When that contract or agreement expired I stayed with the same company and my bill actually went down.

My question is how much more will this new service cost and where will the extra money go? What extra money is the city going to pocket or profit from this?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:12am.

Yes, the preferred provider attempt didn't work out too well. And my HOA negotiated on its own and got Allied as a preferred provider at a cheaper rate than the PTC rate. Been great service.

Last attempt at this, in 2006 I believe, would have raised my rates $12.00 a quarter when it was claimed it would lower it.

This time the claim in the packet is it will be cheaper, but for me it is pretty much break even, $.28 higher per quarter.

The proposed rate by CLM is $44.85 per quarter with the PTC cost of $22,140.00, annually, reduced to zero.

CLM has the highest complaint rate of all the companies who bid by far. And current and recently past users have complained this is the company leaving the oil and other messes on the road, with even pics attached to one such email.

So, while City Hall is technically not suppose to get complaint calls I have no doubt when problems begin we will get swamped.

Yes, we are suppose to financially penalize them for failures to keep the contract. But that will cost money and time via inspections, etc, by such as Public Works, that could be used elsewhere.

Waste Management had zero BBB complaints but no bid in the packet. Advanced also had zero in our market and bid $66.75 a quarter. Allied, which is good and I think part of their 7 total complaints in the last 36 months was due to a company they bought out and merged with. The bid $59.10 a month. Waste Pro, with 20 Complaints, bid $65.85. Cardinal had 42 complaints and bid $40.65. Republic had no BB listing at all and bid $47.28. CLM had 70 complaints.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:24am.

Thank you for answering my questions. Right now I use Allied and have great service and low price. I would like to keep that.

I don't think there will be an easy solution to this or a solution that everyone will like.

Thank you for your service and for looking out for the citizens.

Submitted by ethridgew on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 6:26am.

You are not allowing for CLM's proposal here, they state they are going to use Automated trucks. These trucks are only capable of dumping carts and their drivers are by themselves and will not be getting out to reload carts so that leaves you with one of two options. One option is run another truck behind them ( A rear loader) to pick extra waste up or two just leave it and tell them ( the customer/city) they had too much out. Now we have Yard waste and recycle which both have to be run in seperate trucks, that puts 3 trucks per week in your neighborhood.
Then you have to allow for missed pick ups and there will be missed pick ups whether the drivers fault or the customers you will have them and so you now have the possibility of four trucks in our neighborhood on any given week.
So 3 guarentee'd and a 4th possible for misses as stated above in the extra trash scenario.
If anyone states different they are lying.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:31am.

Adding the yard waste is a new add and we have not been give details on how they will handle it.

For all I know they would just toss it all into the waste truck. So neither you or I really know the answer to that one, yet.

On the two trucks I should have said minimum. Elsewhere I stressed that if it takes more than one truck to run a route, then you will see 4 trucks. If your road is also the route to other routes then it is routes X 2 minimum.

Technically you are correct on the truck numbers. But realistically, running 4 trucks over the same route for a price where they are currently only running one, working out financially? I cannot see it.

We had recycling in the past in PTC. Turned out one provide just brought one truck through and put it all together, then into the land fill. Another ran a dump truck and flat bed for recycling, then dumped them at the same place.

Not saying any of the providers would do that. But saying some things some think will be recycled cannot be. And if they do not properly sort, clean and so on what goes into the recycling truck the whole load will be contaminated and go into the landfill.

This is a far cry from an efficient system.

As for how well it is working in California, many areas out there are up to 4 containers per home now. Where do they store them when not sitting on the curb?

I see more questions than answers.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

poipendicular's picture
Submitted by poipendicular on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 11:13am.

We had 3 large containers, we had a 6ft privacy blind built by our garage to hide the containers behind it so we didn't need to pull it into the backyard and it was not visible from the street. One truck would come once a week, and it was compartmentalized. They would take my trash every week, and alternating weeks it would be either recyclables or greenwaste. Granted this was WM, and from what I understand they owned most of the dumps/landfills. If they missed us, we would call and a truck would come by within 24 hours, sometimes if there was a major problem severely understaffed maybe 48 hours later. Oil leaks or debris they would get someone out within a day or two and clean it up. I never had an oil leak or debris, but a couple of friends a few blocks over or neighboring city told me about it. The drivers were very courteous, and we would also give them something at the holidays in appreciation. I did this with our service here All South. I like to think good service deserves recognition. I once missed putting my container out early enough and the truck missed me. I wasn't pleased when the CSR told me that they would not come by again until the following week. I'm not happy about this since I see trucks run everyday here. In fact I see a CLM truck turn into my cul-de-sac every week, and as far as I can tell no one uses them on my street. I don't know what the price of garbage is out in CA now, but at the time years ago we were paying $48 a quarter. I know I pay more now, and I don't have recycling or greenwaste service. Since we are all worried about the economy here is something I saw on one of the news shows last night http://www.recyclebank.com/ Recycling with an incentive. This seems like something to get people motivated to sort their trash.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 9:54am.

That's still MUCH less truck traffic that you see in my area. But I don't think you'll see worst case scenario, as you put it, every week. Obviously, opinions vary.

Best I can tell, many folks don't pay for trash at all, and are just upset they won't be able to take their garbage to their office for free. Believe me, I've paid for enough office dumpsters in my day, and employees love to use it to save money. Smiling

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:43am.

There are many who donate their trash to their employers, share one service between neighbors and so forth. So, you are so very correct here.

We have heard from so many and I have been so strongly outspoken on this that an opt out has been negotiated into the agreement. Supposed to be on the Dais tonight.

But, if an opt out is feasible now, where it was not before, then why cannot this be a preferred provider offering instead of mandated?

There is a laundry list or problems with this proposal. One being you cannot force people to recycle.

If so many people want to recycle, but are not doing so, and there is all this money to be made, then why hasn't the private sector come up with a recycling service for those who want it that is either free or at minimal cost?

I have more questions than I am getting answers to cover.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by ethridgew on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 12:53pm.

It has a hint that you may be changing your vote?

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 1:13pm.

No. I am not changing my vote.

By more questions than answers I meant more questions as to why this is being proposed than answers. I don't like the answers and the questions make the whole thing even worse.

Hope that clears it up.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 12:37pm.

Lately, there's been a lot of excuses about why you've got to do things.

What was all the monkey business The Fred about too?

Cal Beverly hit the bulls-eye on the leadership black hole in the city. The mayor wants to turn PTC into Brokeback Mountain.

Vote Republican

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 3:19pm.

I do understand the feelings you are expressing. But, law is law and we cannot overcome it by a vote on Council.

The problems with the annexation and this island issue were created in the rush to get the land annexed in. We are trapped by those legal realities regardless of my wishes.

State Law is quite explicit. Do not create county islands within a city. Not please, maybe or roll the dice. Do not do it.

Let me use the Wilshire issue as an example. The law sees the property, now that money has been expended on plans etc, by the developer, and the last Council approved the plans, as if it were a set of buildings existing for ten years and then GDOT widens the road. With no escape clauses built into the approval it is a done deal that the developer now controls. We lost 20' of buffer. The developer lost 0' of approved development area.

I tried to find a legal way to pull the rezoning, plan approval and so forth. So did Doug Strubaum. Cannot be done. Should have been part of the initial approval.

Same with this annexation. The Council negotiated then agreed to the Scarbrough and Wieland annexations. In doing so they created the islands and a legal issue against the annexation.

Then PTC fought the lawsuit against it and from what we have found out would eventually win it, making the annexation fully legal.

That makes the islands totally illegal. Should not have been created, not wanted and I am not happy about it. But it is there and we are up against state law on this issue.

We could deny, but then we are in trouble with the State and the developers legally. We would loose. Not debatable. It does not matter who is sitting on Council, be it Cal, you or anyone else. You would lose.

As for the Fred, hiring a manager and revamping the place was to stop the financial hemorrhaging that has been happening for a few years now.

It is costing us 100s of thousands of dollars as was and was still declining, making the problems worse. Especially when other venues of similar size are around break even or even making money.

The question here is why is it just being dealt with now? Because Doug and I have been fussing about it since January?

In 2006 the last Council added the Special Use Permit and used it this year at 54 W. I want it out in 2010.

My point is not making excuses about we are doing. It is Doug and I are trying to deal with situations not of our making. Several of which we are going to lose in 3-2 votes or because of the legal situations created.

Some things we have stopped and some we have put some dents in. But not near as many as we wished.

So, not excuses, but realities dealing with problems created often before we were even on Council.

I am also saying the time to get it right is before an approval vote is taken. Once taken it is a done deal.

We are working to change ordinances, procedures and the contents of even votes that go against us to stop, lessen the impact and add some kind of protections, if possible, to issues unwanted by PTC. Some things we have changed dated back to 1959, so a lot of these things are long undealt with issues stretching back over many Councils. Doug and I seem to be the first to say do something now about the long overdue sources of many problems.

The last major positive effort of change I can remember was the Big Box ordinance being created.

A lot of work to be done from the minority position. Even my efforts to cap building heights in LUC is being opposed by some.

It does boil down to, in the main, who controls the majority on Council.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 3:26pm.

Annex with no idea of what's going to be there? Is that a good idea?

Vote Republican

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 4:22pm.

It will come in as reserve zoning, meaning subject to planning and rezoning at a future time. No home developments, industrial, retail or OI can be built upon it until rezoned.

It remains owned by private individuals, not developers.

It fixes the zoning and leave it basically empty land.

Not a thrilling way to go, but a way to fix the legal issues and not get something nasty.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sat, 11/08/2008 - 9:57am.

Ya gotta know that life is pretty good when trash becomes a major issue. What ever happened to "Freedom of choice"? When I first moved to Fayette County more than 22 yrs ago,one of my major reasons to becoming a resident of unincorporated Fayette County and not Peachtree City was the evidence of a power structure in PTC that I felt was close to a "Police State" mentality. Over the yrs, it doesn't seem to have changed much. What I do know is that I pay $14 a month to have my trash picked up in my back yard. We take our recycle materials to the County dump--no charge. Works for me. And it's my decision, not that of some group of folks who think they know best for everyone.

Submitted by Spyglass on Sat, 11/08/2008 - 10:49am.

You don't have a dog in the fight...

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