Thursday, August 28, 2008

Remember when "Athens" wasn't garbage?

Seeing that we just celebrated the most-watched Olympic games in history, I think it appropriate to post about Athens considering it was the site of the first Olympiad in modern times.

I find it interesting, however, that what once was the epitome of greatness and strength has been reduced to trash -- quite literally.

Athens is the infamous garbage hauler of probably most cities in the San Gabriel Valley, and they pay handsomely to be just that. I wouldn't be surprised if they had an entire staff devoted to finding out who's running for what and greasing their wheels like crazy.

Recently, in the city of Montebello, three council members thought it best to give Athens an "evergreen" contract to do all trash-hauling duties. In case you don't know, evergreen means for the next 15 years, even if a hauler comes in saying they'll pick up trash twice every day at five bucks a year, Montebello is bound to Athens and no one can compete for the city's contract.

Sounds like it lacks common sense, doesn't it? It seems the Montebello City Council thought so, too, so they decided to skip on the last meeting and for the first time in 20 years, there was no meeting due to lack of quorum. Well, I have a story that may not be as juicy, but another example of how Athens always gets what it wants from our elected officials.

Athens is the garbage hauler in West Covina and a couple years ago, our esteemed elected officials voted on the MOST curious contract with Athens. Not only did they allow an increase for fuel costs, it was retroactive. Now, Councilman Herfert had a problem with that and stated half the retroactive cost would be "absorbed" by the city, and not the residents. I have a question: don't the residents' taxes make up the city's piggy bank?

Even against city staff's recommendation, the council voted 3-1 to allow the retroactive fuel increase, along with the CPI index increase.

Honestly, though, there was so much double talk going on at that meeting that I was still able to see on TV........ that it's just a little complicated, which is where I find a red flag.

Nothing in this world EVER has to be as complicated as some make it out to be, which is probably why E! cancelled Denise Richards' reality show. It's been my experience when people try to dilute things, they don't want you to see what's staring you in the face. Sure, there are exceptions, and most of those exceptions have nothing to do with dollars and cents. When it comes to taxpayer money, though, all we're talking about is dollars and cents.

The West Covina news is old, but it's just another example of how it seems our elected officials are so devoted to Athens. I dare any elected body to turn its back on Athens, just to see what happens next.

No comments: