BELLEAIR BLUFFS – The question of what company will pick up the trash of residents took a new turn at Monday night’s City Commission meeting.
This issue has been in the air for weeks and has taken on the aspect of a juggling act on which of two firms – Waste Management, the current pick up company, and Waste Services – will get the contract.
Waste Management has been doing the job for 20 years. Waste Services promises extra service and a lower price.
Mayor Chris Arbutine brought a new wrinkle to the subject Monday night when he proposed a committee to study the whole question.
Arbutine noted that to his knowledge there had been no outcry from residents expressing dissatisfaction over the trash pickup service.
He also said that there were no complaints from the city staff over the current pickup situation.
“Talk of change seems to be a commission generated idea, from three people who live on the same street,” Arbutine said.
He did not name them but three commissioners – Bob Russo, Dave Shimkus and Troy Krotz – all live on Southwind Drive. These three are also the ones who have indicated they want a change and favor Waste Services.
It appeared a month ago that the issue had been put to rest on a 2-2 vote that would have kept the status quo. Russo was absent for that vote which was crucial because he would have voted for Waste Service.
At the workshop meeting last week, Shimkus succeeded in reviving the question, overcoming the opinion of Tom Trask, the city’s lawyer, that the only way it could come back would be for someone on the prevailing side of the vote last month make a motion for reconsideration.
Shimkus insisted his pushing the issue was not a move for reconsideration but for a renewal of the vote. He wanted to do this, he said, “Because we did not have the full commission here for the April vote.”
Arbutine called for a consensus or three commissioners who favored bringing the subject back for discussion. Krotz joined Russo and Shimkus in favoring reviving the issue.
The committee proposed by Arbutine will be made up of Al Simpson, Paul Kuykendahl, Joe Barkley, Wally Witham, Robert David, the city’s public works boss, Debra Sullivan, the city clerk, and Krotz.
Waste Services has offered a price to each household in the city of $13.49 a month, $2.16 lower than Waste Management’s price. The company also has said there will be unlimited bulk pickups.
The ordinance that would establish extensive and radically different code enforcement procedures was assailed by John Tabor, a resident.
He said he had “25 questions and objections” that should have been raised by commissioners.
The ordinance passed on first reading Monday, 3-1, with Brett Nelson voting no. Shimkus was absent.
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