Saturday, December 08, 2007

Citizens Against Trashy Government To Fight For Open Government & Consent of The Governed In Country Trash Policy

Denouncing secrecy and arrogant decision-making by the St. Louis County Government on two major issues involving trash, some county citizens have organized "Citizens Against Trashy Government" to fight back.

The targets of the group are two recent decisions of the county on trash policy:

1. A new plan for trash districts having one hauler imposed on each of 8 large districts countywide, and . . .

2. The secret settlement made by the county attorney to block any challenge to a giant trash collection site in South County when the county had previously held the proposal to be "a menace to public health."

Co-Chairs, Tom Diehl and Mike Becker stated: "When it comes to trash policy, the county government is starting to look like an old-time, big city machine. It is trying to impose a monopoly trash system countywide that the citizens don't want to squeeze out competition and give the controlling politicians a patronage windfall.

The result will inevitably be higher prices for trash service to everyone through fewer competitors and higher taxes for all county taxpayers. At a time when the county government is talking about tax increases, they are planning to spend $400,000 in the first year alone on a program that is about as well organized as lifeboat drills on the Titanic."

Regarding the settlement of the Weber trash collection site lawsuit, they stated: "It is an incredible violation of the sunshine law for the county attorney to settle a case in favor of the Weber trash site without public disclosure and without consultation or consent from her client, the County Council, which has previously voted 7-0 on a bipartisan basis to reject a trash dump at that site."

Citizens Against Trashy Government proposes to fight for two key principles of which they believe the county government is in danger of losing:

1. Consent of the governed

2. Open government

Regarding "Consent of The Governed", co-chair Diehl stated: "The clumsy monopoly trash district plan with the county is trying to impose does not arise from any public demand for the idea. It is a political power play to create monopoly franchises for favored insiders. This plan stomps on consent of the people and forces ordinary citizens to give up price and service competition countywide in favor of a government imposed monopoly."

"We recognize that many municipalities and subdivisions have only a single trash hauler, but that is their free choice where there is still competition available if they aren't happy."

"This county plan to crush competition i favor of trash monopoly districts belongs in the dumpster."

Regarding the settlement of the Weber lawsuit for a trash dump in South County, co-chair Becker stated: The County Health Department and the County Council had both found the imposition of the Weber trash dump at the South County site to be an undesirable nuisance. Now the County attorney has settled the lawsuit closing out the power of the County to appeal an adverse court decision without consent or notice to her client, the County Council, and without public disclosure of the settlement in clear violation of the sunshine law."

"If this decision is allowed to stand, it will be a total victory for secret, back-room deals over open government. No government lawyer has the power through a secret deal to overturn government policy reached through public hearings and open votes."

To launch their effort, the Citizens Against Trashy Government will hold a rally on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at Lindbergh and Highway 55. They ask the public to turn out to form a base of volunteer and financial support to fight for restoration of consent of the govern and open government in St. Louis County government.

Tom Diehl is a fund-raising consultant who was involved in the fight against the Weber trash dump and was unsuccessfully sued by Weber in a $5 million defamation suit to halt criticism.

Mike Becker is a real estate rehaber who had assisted in the successful fight by Diehl and the John Doe Society against the Weber defamation suit. Diehl is a Democrat, and Becker is a Republican. They intend the organization to seek bi-partisan support from all citizens concerned about the future of the county.

For further information, contact:

Jerry Wamser
105 Concord Plaza, Suite 209
St. Louis, MO 63128
PHONE: (314) 729-0272
FAX: (314) 729-7474


  1. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Openness and free expression are the answer. Complaceny is the enemy. Call, write, email your elected officials, often, and pointed. Their job is to represent you, not the other way around. If they hear from enough, they will respond.

    And oh yeah, VOTE, the last big equalizer, VOTING! They hear that message. But you have to VOTE. No excuses, no, I can't, I am too busy, no, apathy, it doesn't make a difference. Because it does. Use your Mandadte and VOTE. Elected representatives biggest fears, are the VOTERS.

  2. Anonymous9:58 AM

    Add a list of County official email addresses to the web site. Make it easy for everyone to get email addresses and phone numbers.

  3. Anonymous1:20 PM

    A little civil disobedience may go a long way. This is such a blatant power-grab as to shock the concious, and the issue is screaming for action.

    Enough is enough already.