WILSON: I stand by my decision to vote no on garbage contract, and here’s why

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, July 23, 2023

I actually am surprised that Warren Gaines and Ricky Gray would bring the garbage contract back out in the light when it was done in the dark.

Supervisor Kevin Wilson

First of all, I was elected to office to serve the public and I take that very seriously. Serving as supervisor has been a humbling experience. I enjoy working through the day-to-day problems of the county and helping people out when the county can’t. It has been very rewarding.

However, there have been times in board meetings that some votes that come up make no sense. The garbage collection issue is one of those. The way this went down — with no negotiations with the bidding parties when it is actually part of the process — was and is suspect in itself.

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I have engaged the State Auditor’s office about this. The details of that cannot be discussed at this time. However, if the auditor’s office finds evidence of wrongdoing, the local District Attorney here will not prosecute the case. This case would go straight to the state attorney general.

In Gaines’ and Gray’s letter to the editor, the accomplishments of the Board of Supervisors for the last three and a half years is noted, and we have had a good term considering all the obstacles. And we have not raised taxes, which brings me to my next point.

How are we going to pay for the new garbage contract? They don’t want to discuss it until after the election, but it will certainly take a tax increase or fee increase to do so, and everyone will pay.

Apparently, the voters can’t or do not have the right to choose once a week pickup for far less money. “They are not capable of adapting to once a week pickup,” they said. So, this is such a good deal that we are not even going to try?

Well, the county doesn’t have $600,000 extra a year to pay for this, and you the people who have to pay for this were not even considered.

By the way, four of the five supervisors live in the city, including myself, but I am mad about it because I am a citizen and a businessman and negotiating deals is part of our job as supervisors. Getting the most for taxpayers out of the tax dollars they pay is our job.

I am also not a fan of partial truths and misleading statements. To pump up their decision, they made Metro look like heroes, and it sounded in their letter like the contract with Adams County was the reason Metro went bankrupt. Not so.

They went bankrupt because of poor decisions, poor management and an ever-changing economy. The only contracts they wanted out of were Jonesville and ours. Now the new company with the same upper management and beat up trucks is going to give us better service for three times the money? Doubtful.

Metro was awarded the emergency contract and the new company the new one. The letter stated, because they “stuck with us.” All the other companies that are in that industry were smart enough to not bid on a three-month emergency contract, when they did not have the manpower, the truck nor the infrastructure in place. You can’t go buy three or four $500,000 trucks and hire 20 people for three months of work.

The other reason we did not get more bids is the fact that Adams County has a contract for solid waste disposal with a waste site in Jefferson County. We really cannot expect Waste Management, which has its own waste disposal site in Adams County, to take their trucks into a Jefferson County dump site, which, by the way, is not up to par.

That contract with the Jefferson County waste disposal site should have been voided and we would have received more bids.

We should have negotiated, but now we have a six-year deal with a newly formed company that had a bad performance record and on top of all that, the new contract we are locked into provides them with a 4.5 percent rate increase every year!

Performance won’t matter, fuel prices won’t matter, and the state of the economy won’t matter, either. They will get that annual rate increase.

Something smells here and it is the garbage and this contract!

Kevin Wilson is supervisor of Adams County’s District 2.