Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Berlin---The Voters Referendum Rejection Doesn't Count

The referendum vote on the trash collection resulted in favor of keeping with manual collection service (if it is available and cost effective).

Automated refuse carts will continue to be distributed through the last week of June.

As a new contract has already been executed, residents shall use their manual trash containers until the week of July 6th and then begin using the automated containers until further notice.

If it is determined that the automated containers are no longer going to be used, the Public Works Department will make arrangements to have them picked up from your residence.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Watch for more updates on the Town's website, newspapers or flyers.


Anonymous said...

Government is out of control at all levels.

The voters rejected this plan through a referendum, and a town manager that is not even accountable to the voters has already purchased the cans, and signed an agreement with a vendor before having the approval of the townspeople, so now they are being told that they are stuck with it because an employee, who is not even elected, signed an agreement?

Does anyone else see any problems with this?

Anonymous said...


Mayor calls emergency meeting to talk trash

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:42 PM EDT

Staff writer

BERLIN — Mayor Adam Salina has called for an emergency meeting of the town council tonight to address the amended town ordinance on trash collection adopted by voters in a referendum Tuesday. The amended ordinance will require the town to provide manual trash collection, if available and reasonably priced.

“I want to thank all of the voters who came out yesterday to execute their right and privilege to vote,” Salina said in a statement. “I also want to commend the registrars and the poll workers for the excellent job they did running a very efficient voting process.”

Mayor Salina said an emergency meeting was warranted.

“The voters have spoken and they deserve the council’s immediate action in response to their vote,” he said.

The current manual contract with Trash-Away of New Britain expires Tuesday and the new, fully executed $1.1 million contract for automated service with the same firm begins July 1.

“The timing of this referendum, and the amended ordinance it calls for, raise complex issues that the council and the town manager will now need to address,” Salina said.

The town completed the bidding process for trash collection and the council approved automated pickup Feb. 3. Salina said at that time that automated pickup, with its anticipated savings and environmental advantages, together with the trend of fewer and fewer trash companies offering manual collection, was overwhelmingly supported by the council as being in the best interests of Berlin.

The contract was signed and the cost was included in the budget, which resulted in no tax increase. The budget was adopted after a public hearing and a referendum April 28. Tuesday’s vote was to adopt an amended ordinance that would require manual pickup.

“The council worked very hard to develop a balanced budget that included no tax increase and our number-one goal remains the preservation of that zero tax increase, despite this amendment to the ordinance,” Salina said. “More hard work will be required if we are to develop a solution to the many consequences of yesterday’s vote, particularly in light of its timing, which is well after the contract for automated was fully executed in accordance with our town charter.”

Town Republican Chairman David Evans and former Mayor Paul Argazzi led a campaign to defeat the automated trash collection system. Evans pointed out that residents only had a say in the trash decision after the mayor was forced by petition to give them a choice. Evans warned that residents with limited mobility would have difficulty with the newer containers. Robert Smith of Kensington argued that the manual system “we have in place right now is working just fine.”

On Tuesday, residents voted 1,964 to 1,716 to keep the current trash plan.


© 2009, a Journal Register Property

Anonymous said...

Talking Trash in Berlin

Updated 12:15 AM EDT, Thu, Jun 25, 2009

Related Topics:Berlin

Trash collection is creating quite a stink in the town, and residents like the old way of doing things.

Trash collection is creating quite a stink in Berlin.

Residents voted to keep manual pickup despite a push by town officials to go automated.

Right now, bags and cans are picked up by hand by garbage collectors. In January, the town moved to upgrade the system to special cans that can be picked up by a truck with an automated hydraulic arm.

The plan was to kick it off July 1st, but it hit a road block when residents voted Tuesday to reject the new system.

"I like the idea that we can put out anything and they’ll pick it up," said Joyce Smoluk, a Berlin resident since the 1960s. "If we have old blinds, if we have sticks, we have to bundle them up. It’s hard to get everything into a container."

"People felt that it would’ve been a little more difficult for them, said Denise McNair, Berlin Town Manager. "I think people feared the unknown more than anything."

The vote means Berlin has to start a new bidding process to find a company that collects manually.

It also has to deal with the its old company, Trash Away which already spent close to a million dollars to transition to automated. The company bought new cans and new trucks.

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"They’re investing time and quite a bit of money as well," said Art Simonian, Berlin's Director of Public Works. "The containers have already been rolled out to some of the residents. They’ve already faced that cost and have to deal with that."

Berlin will use the new system until town council decides whether or not to uphold the referendum. If it sides with residents, officials plan to revert to the old system later this summer. Town Council is set to meet Thursday.

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Anonymous said...

Hmmm. We didn't have a choice in NB. I personally hate the carts. I live on a hill and when my husband isn't around to put out the trash that cart takes me right down the driveway with it. I can't imagine trying to handle it once I get older. The residents in Berlin took up a referendum and voted no and they are still delivering the carts
this morning.

How is it the horse got put before
the cart?

Anonymous said...

Berlin will use the new system until town council decides whether or not to uphold the referendum. If it sides with residents, officials plan to revert to the old system later this summer. Town Council is set to meet Thursday.



Anonymous said...

No contract = no service! Berlin will become the next Naples. Just accumulate garbage at the curbside. Then New Britain will get to count all the leaf bags that somehow immigrated to Berlin.

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