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Bayfield trustees skip second recycling vote
12/9/2013 By: Carole McWilliams
Bayfield trash customers will not have curbside recycling next year.
At their Dec. 3 meeting, town trustees refused to reconsider their Nov. 19 tie vote that rejected adding residential curbside recycling to the town’s contract with Transit Waste.
Motions fail on a tie vote. Tom Au, Debbi Renfro, and Mayor Rick Smith voted no last month because the $2.35 per month increase in trash bills would be charged to all residential customers, whether or not they want recycling.
Tuesday night Smith cited Roberts Rules of Order that reconsideration of the proposal would have to be initiated by one of the people who previously voted no.
He said he wouldn't ask for a re-vote. Neither did Renfro or Au.
The result would be the same as last time, Au said.
At the Nov. 19 meeting, trustee Rachel Davenport, who favors recycling, was out of town. She was present Tuesday, but supporter Michelle Nelson was absent.
Davenport said, "I've heard a lot of people comment that they were disappointed when the recycling center closed." She cited a community survey done in September. It was on the town web site and was sent to people on the town's e-mail list. The majority of respondents favored recycling, she said.
"I'd like to have a (recycling) cart at my house so I don't have to save all those plastic bottles in my shed," she said.
Matt Nyberg, who voted yes on Nov. 19, said, "Of all the (fee) increases we are asking the public for, this is the least amount."
Town attorney Dirk Nelson said the parliamentary rule cited by Smith referred to calling for a re-vote at the same meeting where the previous vote occurred.
Smith countered, "It's so everything decided in one meeting isn't brought back at the next meeting."
In his written staff report, Town Manager Chris La May said, "Under Roberts Rules of Order, members of the board can't be asked to decide the same question twice at the same meeting unless they reconsider the vote. To reconsider the vote, a member must have voted on the prevailing side (in this case, the negative vote can move to reconsider)."
But he added, "However, anyone can bring the motion before the board again at the next meeting, if it is handled as if it is a new motion."
At board direction last time, La May said he contacted Transit Waste to see if they would offer recycling to business customers (yes), and if the recycling charge could be applied only to customers who want it.
Their response, La May said, was that they could discuss it, but in all the area towns that have curbside recycling, the charge is on all bills, not just those who want recycling.