The following is a press release from George Laskey, who has announced plans to challenge Ward 8 Councilor Judith Bucci for her seat in November.
Get the Facts
To quote the current Ward 8 Councilor Bucci said, “That while she never held a ward meeting on the trash fee she discussed the plan with many constituents.”
When I’m elected in the fall, I will have regular Ward meetings to discuss issues that affect the residents. When programs such as the Pay as You Throw or any other one that affects the people’s wallets of my ward needs to have a discussion it will be open to all and not a select few.
I also want to state it’s a tax, not a fee, as it balances the general fund budget. She also states for the article that she’s a member of the city’s Finance Committee and while it’s admirable to stand by her vote which she states in the article is a fair solution to last year’s budget revenue shortfall. I would assume she knows that the trash tax bag lost one million dollars this past year? So, how did that help the budget? And services and people were not cut.
Councilor Bucci’s statement: “that the residents were able to watch the budget deliberations –which included the trash fee proposal-in June of 2008.”
While I agree with her statement, however, other than this year when there was a taxpayers group that attends all of the meetings. The attendance over the years by the voters has been sparse and we can’t watch the meetings she describes on public access television as they are subcommittee and not recorded for us to watch.
Bucci questions, “If it wasn’t pay-as-you-throw, then what was it going to be?”
I stand by my earlier statement that the ward must have some form of notification and a meeting to discuss a situation as important as this one has become. If there was proper research into the PAYT then we would follow State guidelines to eliminate the perception of a tax. Which, in my opinion we didn’t do. We also took a lot of money from resources that support the elderly, disabled and low income residents of the ward. Could that money go to other causes that affect these groups?
What was it going to be?
Maybe the Councilor should speak with our neighbors in Everett and ask them how they like an alternative program to PAYT which is Recycle Bank. I have more suggestions, but, I’d like to go out to the ward and discuss them with the resident’s of Ward 8 before I make them public.