The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published September 11, 2019
Mayor decides residents will not be allowed to choose
OSAGE BEACH – A discussion on rescinding the city’s decision to force a single trash provider for residents ended up being a discussion on freedom of choice, with the final decision being the government knows what’s best.
Alderman Kevin Rucker brought the resolution to the Board of Aldermen last week.
In March of 2018, the board moved forward with the idea of choosing a single trash provider for all city residents.
The city will negotiate with the trash provider and the Board of Aldermen will enter a contract with that single provider and all in the city – including businesses – will have to use that trash provider.
At that March 2018 meeting, several citizens and two separate trash providers spoke at the Citizen’s Communication portion of the meeting.
One citizen spoke out against it claiming the city is taking away the choice of citizens and deciding what is best for them.
The basic idea brought forth by the city is that even though the freedom of citizens to choose will be taken away, the negotiated price for trash service should be lower and it will save those in the city money.
The question also arose at that time as to who was pushing this issue. That question was answered later by Alderman Jeff Bethurem who said he is the one who brought it to the city.
The city eventually did vote to force a single trash provider on all in the city. Camdenton and Lake Ozark also choose the trash service for their residents and businesses.
Last week, Alderman Rucker said the city is taking away the choice of citizens and that is wrong.
“I don’t think you want to socialize the trash service,” Rucker said. “We need to have a free enterprise service in our community. I don’t believe the government needs to be in places where it doesn’t need to be. We’re going to go down this road of making only one trash service for this community, then I guess the next thing we do is make one propane company allowed to come in, we make only one tow company, we make only one UPS or FedEx…where do we stop? The answer is we don’t start.
“We allow people to make their choices, we allow people to pick who they want their trash service from.”
Alderman Phyllis Marose also agreed with Rucker and felt the citizens should have a choice.
However, Alderman Richard Ross disagreed and said the city taking away the choice of the citizens is capitalism and not socialism.
“I couldn’t disagree more,” Ross said. “First of all this is not socialism it’s capitalism at its best. It’s the buying power of 4,400 people.”
The actual resolution brought to the board by Rucker said:
“Resolution 2019-03 - A resolution of the City of Osage Beach, Missouri Board of Aldermen, repealing Resolution 2018-03 that allowed the City to enter into a single trash collection service within the City concerning the provision of commercial and residential trash service, repealing the previously served notice of Resolution 2018-03 pursuant to Section 260.247 RSMo.”
When it came time for a vote on this resolution, three aldermen voted yes and three aldermen voted no.
The Mayor cannot vote unless there is a tie and in this case the decision on whether citizens have the freedom to choose a trash provider or the government (city) chooses for them, came to rest on Mayor John Olivarri.
Olivarri stated he has heard no complaints about this idea and he voted to keep things the way they are.
That means the city will choose what is best for the residents and businesses regarding a trash provider.
In some of the other business at last week’s Board of Alderman meeting:
• Voted to give $2,000 from the city’s unrestricted finds for the maintenance and upkeep of the Welcome Garden and Lake of the Ozarks Welcome Sign.
• Approved a motion allowing city staff to work on Autumn Lane for the Osage Beach Special Road District.
• Approved a motion allowing city staff to work on Cove Road for the Osage Beach Special Road District.
This project will try and alleviate some of the drainage problems on the road.
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