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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


This Month's Tennis Postcard

Last week the staff report for this past Monday's meeting was made public on the city website.  As I mentioned in an earlier posting, it revealed that the lowest-cost proposal for a city-wide service was made by Allied Waste.  Tennis Sanitation (another one of the proposers) immediately mailed the following postcard to all of their Maplewood customers (click on the image for a larger version):

Not surprisingly, the City Council was deluged with phone calls and e-mails from residents who were falsely told by this postcard that Monday night was going to have a decision on whether or not to organize hauling, when in fact the agenda item was one step in the formal process of developing a an alternative system that could be considered as an option at the end of this whole trash study -- something Tennis should well understand, seeing as they are one of four competing proposers in that process.  (And, as it happens, the item was tabled to allow the whole council an opportunity to read the confidential documents of all the proposals before making a decision.)

If you're an official in another city looking at this issue now or in the future, be prepared for this sort of thing from individual haulers and their trade association.  Take note that providing truthful information to their customers, or behaving in a professional manner relative to the formal procurement process, may not be priorities for them.

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