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From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter

(8/2016) You may be familiar with the J&J trash issue that was recently debated in the County Council meetings. I wrote recently about how I felt J&J Inc. was being targeted in how they use the county landfill/transfer station. Their business is trash, they are a local trash/refuse hauler and the landfill/transfer station is well within their business model.

Again, since March I have been asking to get J&J's issue on an agenda for discussion. I finally was allowed to have a "landfill/solid waste" discussion a few weeks ago. I sent an email to staff requesting to have J&J at the meeting so they could speak. The meeting is held, we have a "landfill/solid waste " briefing by county staff, a "briefing" we didn't ask for but received anyway. After the staff completed their briefing, I requested that J&J be able to address the staff members and resolve the issue with their business. This request was denied by Council President Bud Otis. Here we have a constituent of mine that has a problem, we have them in the room with the staff members that can explain why the issue can or cannot be resolved, and we have Council President Otis disallowing any discussion on the subject matter. That is wrong and unacceptable!

I requested again after that meeting to have a meeting between staff and J&J and the request was denied. Since Otis does not want to hear from constituents or business owners I decided there is more than one way to be heard. I sent an email to J&J requesting them to sue the County. I went as far as to let them know I would testify for them in the suit.

Now, you may say, hey Delauter, why would you encourage a business to sue the county? My answer is simple, we are to represent you, all of you. When a constituent can't be heard by the council and I feel they have a cause/issue worth hearing, I am going to encourage every means possible to get them heard. If a lawsuit is what it takes, so be it. I will stand up for taxpayers, businesses and any other entity that I am to represent in this council position. I will go to whatever length, whatever means necessary to right a wrong. In order for me to say, "there is nothing else we can do", or "I give up", is not an option.

I think once the County heard J&J was preparing to sue and I would be willing as a council member to testify on behalf of J&J, the internal discussions began within the county and it was brought to my attention that a legislative Bill may be the answer to a resolution. While I totally disagree that making a new law/ordinance to add to an existing "sufficient" law/ordinance is totally ridiculous and unnecessary, but If that's what will right the wrong, that's what I may have to do.

So, long and short, as long as the county council can't simply sit down and discuss issues with taxpayers and business owners, we need to create unnecessary laws because we can't interpret the meaning of simple sentences that are written in basic English. We allow staff members to abuse taxpayers by using slick language and interpretation to read something anyway they want.

The sad part I've found out in my six years in local politics, most people don't give a rat's ass about their neighbors plight until they themselves have an issue that effects them. Get involved in local politics, pay attention and hold those that are elected accountable to what is right and just at all times. Politicians come and go but staff members are the ones that typically make policy and in most cases, they make policy that makes it easier on themselves and harder on those who dare to challenge them. It is important who we elect because with 45 years of incremental degradation of our rights and our freedoms, if we continue on that path at some point you may not be given the option to choose. Ask the owners of J&J Trash service how important it is to have the right person representing you.

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