Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11, 2009 City Attorney Dick Jessee Will Give Opinion on Crumley's Commercial Garbage Moratorium

Tuesday's City Council meeting included a third major item that was not mentioned in Wednesday's "news"paper.

[The "news"paper ignored two other items of importance that were discussed at Tuesday's meeting. One of those items was City Administrator Jim Crumley's admission that he gave car allowances to four employees by "mistake" for three years or so, costing the city around $19,000 during each of those years. Click here for my post on the car allowances. The other item that the paper has ignored is the statement made by Councilman Bob Garrett during sewer rate discussions that charging some sewer customers twice as much as others without a cost study is "illegal." Click here for my post on sewer rates.]

The third news item that the "news"paper did not mention is that another Crumley action or policy is apparently going to be shot down at next week's council meeting.

In a previous post, I mentioned that Crumley announced in May a new city "policy" that no garbage cans or city garbage pickup would be provided to commercial businesses that request a can or cans in the future. Crumley added that all commercial entities that already have a can or cans could keep theirs and continue to have city garbage pickup.

In that same post, I stated and explained how such a policy could in fact be seen as discriminatory, resulting in unfair treatment of a new business (no garbage cans and no city garbage pickup) as opposed to very different and more favorable treatment of an old business (garbage cans and city garbage pickup).

Even if you could somehow ignore or get around the legality issue, it is simply not good policy to even consider treating similar businesses differently in regard to provision of city services.

Tuesday, Councilman Frank McGuffin indicated that city attorney Dick Jessee would soon be giving an opinion on Crumley's "policy" of refusing to provide city garbage service to new businesses while continuing city garbage service to old businesses.

Crumley has apparently talked to Jessee as well and is aware of the coming opinion. On Tuesday, Crumley stopped talking about his commercial garbage moratorium, explaining that Dick Jessee just "might" say that such a policy is discriminatory and can not be defended.

Yep. Overall, the City has to serve all similarly situated businesses equally and fairly. The City can cease all garbage services to all businesses or provide a certain uniform level of garbage service to all businesses, but Crumley's previously announced policy of giving garbage services to one business and denying those same services to a similar business is discriminatory and unfair and would be very difficult to defend if challenged.


Valeria said...

Linda, why don't you call it the "fools"paper? I think that will better represent it...;)

John Danneskjöld said...

I love it. I linked it.