The City of Fernley is a rural community that has been subjected to some unpopular decisions by former city officials. One of the biggest issues was COF#2008-013, the decision that all property owners with less than two acres of land must pay for trash removal from a company, TrashPros, selected by the City.
Question No. 1 asks if Ordinance #2008-013, which authorizes the City to adopt rules and procedures regarding solid waste, be revoked.
Some Fernley residents do not create enough trash to warrant the excessive monthly fee; some residents have the authority to burn their trash; some property is uninhabited, but still subject to the fee. All residents have a public dump, also run by TrashPros, where rubbish can be left for a reasonable fee.
Before the City made a deal with TrashPros, Waste Management provided services and a dump at a very affordable price. If a citizen did not need weekly trash service, the citizen was not forced to pay for service not received.
The City and TrashPros made an agreement for services; the City also provided that TrashPros could get a lien on any property where the fee was not paid. For homeowners who did not have the money to pay the fee, there was a process to petition for an exemption, some of which were accepted and the fees waived. When representatives of TrashPros called to tell us they were filing a lien and would petition for sale of our property based on fees they felt we owed (although we did not use trash service), we filed a petition. We did not have additional funds to pay for an unused service that we had previously not been forced to pay. Our petition was approved, thank goodness. We have burn approval for paper, leaves, and plant residue. We make a dump run about every three months. We would not have filled one barrel even in a month, yet were being charged a monthly fee. The City receives an eight per cent kickback from TrashPros for their cooperation.
The City of Fernley holds the position that it negotiated the best service at the lowest price, and that the representatives, citizens as well, did so with the constituency in mind. Many citizens question if the kickback affected the decision, instead.
The City argues that more waste will be deposited in the desert if the current trash removal system is removed. There are laws against dumping in the desert. TrashPros is convenient, and once again, fair in its charges for the dump. If people are dumping illegally, it is time to enforce the law in regard to that practice. Likewise with their threat that garbage will just pile up if people are not forced to pay for trash service. Enforce the law; the citizens can take the garbage to the dump. It is my opinion that the City of Fernley gets no kickback for dump use, and that is why it does not want to see the mandatory trash service voted out.
This is a chance for the citizens of Fernley to make their opinion known. There may be some renters who do not feel this affects them, but rent is affected by the costs mandated to the property owner. Those who received exemptions from trash service may lose those exemptions if the City has their way. This is a good time to vote “yes” and have the questionable action regarding mandatory trash service revoked. It is a good time to make our voices heard.
Community discussions regarding mandatory service
General Election Sample Ballot, Lyon County, Nevada 2010