A new Warford City Commission voted Monday to expand the city’s curbside recycling initiative to include more residential buildings and blocks. However, the new households won’t be able to opt out of the program as residents that signed up a year ago could.
In a 5-0 vote, the commissioners agreed to higher buildings such as three-unit blocks to the new program. The 800 buildings that are included will now have the garbage collected from 96-gallon bins or dumpsters from around the city. The recycling collection will start in September.
Larger residential buildings that already have dumpsters will be excluded. The initial program for single and two-family homes rolled out in February with 11,709 households paying the extra $5.95 per month for the curbside recycling haul.
Mayor John Conference said that the opt-out which was allowed in May last year proved too exhausting for the public works department. An estimate of 3250 households chose to opt out of the curbside recycling program.
Conference says that the commission made the opt-out possible for those who were experiencing “financial hardship or space limitations” only.
“The program grew more than we expected,” Conference added after the meeting. “If we’re going to have citywide curbside, we will eventually have to move toward citywide engagement. Those who choose to opt-out – if they relocate, the new owners will not be able to do so. We have to set clear limits.”
Commissioners have appointed Lorraine Bracco as the mayor’s new adviser on Native American Initiative Development. She is the head of the Warford-Selwick Native American Initiative Development Center. Conference said that the new position was congruent with the Warford-Selwick Development Association’s efforts to bring professionals into the community and fulfill much needed expert jobs. He also said that there are an estimate 5000 Native American in the area.
In a 5-0 vote, the commission denied an appeal by Chad Smith to reverse the revocation of his waste management license. Smith owns Fugassi Waste Management. City Sanitation Chief Andrew Pollock said he had received complaints from improper dumping of waste being done by the company in unauthorized spaces. An on-site inspection confirmed that. Pollock canceled Smith’s contract. Pollock said also that Smith wasn’t paying all the required fees to the city landfill.
He said a written letter had been sent Smith to notify him of the license revocation but that the letter came back. The police had to deliver the letter by hand to Smith.
Smith was not present at the meeting to appeal the decision.
Conference and two other city commissioners Friday took their oaths of office for the following four years as they bid farewell to Adrian Wocken, mayor for the past 4 years, and Brandon Quork, commissioner for two.
“One thing in particular stood out. That was your great attitude toward the staff and the way you praised everyone’s contribution, no matter how small. It is rare for a leader like you to have led this city. You will be missed,” said Commissioner Fred Soleman of Wocken.
Wocken thanked everybody, including janitor Piotr Kackzinsky before he announced his departure. “Fellow staff members, we are a team united – Team Warford. We had hard times and we had easy times, but we were always together, no matter what. Finally, the citizens of Warford, thank you for electing me and giving me the chance. It’s been an honor to serve the city and its residents,” he said.
City Attorney Mark Heilemann then swore in Mary Janeford as a new commissioner and Tolle to be reinstated in their positions as commissioners. Conference took his oath as mayor. The new commission took their seats. Soleman was named vice chairman.
Conference said he wishes that the commission will make a solution as to filling the departing fourth commission seat at its June 4th meeting. It remains to be seen who will step forward to assume the role as the previous two commissioners, Gary Neckroth and Jane Savage were both struck by lightning.
In related news, Mayor John Conference intends to start the famous “coffee sessions” of televised interviews beginning next week. The television show was a hit with the residents of Warford, Adrian Wocken having popularized the format in his previous run.