Sunday, November 26, 2006

Trash Talk Continues...

There really isn't much left to talk about until, at the earliest December 4, when the trial date is to be set to determine the legality of the trash fee.
Please forgive me if I have said any of these before. Frankly, they cannot be understated.
Should Sweeney's ruling stand, trash fees across the state will be in Jeopardy. The legislature will need to act in order to prevent widespread disruption by the ruling. The crux of Sweeney's view on the trash fee is based on the supposed "coercion" by the city upon residents to use municipal trash pickup. However, the city is required to be sure residential garbage is properly disposed. To avoid the hassle of making up its own regulations to comply with state law, the Control Board and Puccia, simply copied the regulation for trash pick-up opt-out from other communities. Therefore, if Springfield's fee is illegal, all communities' fees are likely illegal, or if nothing else, some industrious resident of Worcester, Weymouth, or other places where a trash fee exists, will file suit against their community.

The fate of the city is really in the hands of the legislature. Some area legislators like Thomas Petrolati say the board should be immediately abolished or at least allowed to expire this upcoming year. However, I want to be sure that city officials are up to the task and will not simply turn the city into a cash machine for their friend and campaign contributors. Complaining about the FCB ignoring local legislator's input is a bit out of place. Knowing who the Governor was when they passed the bill, they should have known that this would happen. Don't act surprised now and vote to screw the city just because you think Patrick will do a great job as Governor. Whether he will or not remains to be seen. Plus, if you want to look for funding, legislators like Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, who recommed the FCB appeal to Governor-elect Deval Patrick and Thomas Petrolati who is Deputy Speaker of the House, a reward to support DiMasi as speaker, should look no further than their own chamber and the other 158 members of the House and the 40 members of the Senate.

Whatever. I need a break from all this urban drama and need to talk about another subject or something less stressful like National Politics or religion. Sigh. We'll be back December 4th on the Trash Fee, unless something happens between now and then. Updates may be sparse until then as the final throes of the semester are underway. Till then...

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