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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pay-For-Play: The High Price of Low Cost Government

You've heard of pay-for-play in the schools, right?

If you want your child on a sports team, a club or some other school-sponsored have to pay a user fee.  This was instituted because the school budget can only cover so much.  The 'extras' that make a school district great either have to go away or be supported by the 'users' (students) to keep them in the program.  We could argue how this is really just a way to 'tax' the residents who have children in schools, but the fact remains that if we want our children to have a well-rounded education...we have to find a way to provide it.

Well, Councilman Doug Tietz wants you to "pay-for-play" for your garbage pick-up.

The City of Troy has always provided that service to the residents as part of our property tax payment.  However, as costs increase to the city, the city passes on that increase to us.  It's nominal; the proposed increase to have our garbage collected at our curb for the next budget cycle is $7/year.

That's right...$7/year...not even a dollar a pick up your garbage. 

Doug Tietz doesn't want to pass that cost on to you.  He wants to see the city move over to a system like in Rochester Hills where residents contract their own refuse collection.  I've heard of some families who pay upwards of $200/year.

In Troy?  We're paying roughly $106 WITH the increase, as stated last night during the budget study session.

Doug Tietz wants to NOT vote in a $7 refuse millage increase so that you can possibly pay up to TWICE AS MUCH for your garbage collection.

Even more disturbing is that Mayor Daniels seems to agree with part of Tietz's argument: she's against raising the refuse millage on principal.  You see, she CAMPAIGNED on being a tax fighter.  She seems willing to vote down the entire city budget -- all 300+ pages of it that have been worked on for years and explained in lengthy sessions to her and all of council -- over a $7/year residential increase because she thinks she told everyone she would never raise your taxes.

She wants us to absorb the cost in the fund balance.

Did you read yesterday's blog post?  Did you read this article on the Patch?  Have you watched the budget study session?

Janice Daniels wants us to bankrupt ourselves even sooner over $7/year because she's anti-tax.

She's apparently also anti-common sense.  She's acting -- AGAIN -- on her own personal ideology without looking at the big picture of what is best for Troy as a WHOLE.

Janice Daniels is dangerous to Troy.

Recall Janice Daniels.


  1. Does he own or have an interest in a refuse and recycling enterprise? Didn't Rochester Hills go to a garbage collection model patterned Troy's? These games the two are playing have not stopped. Oh, of course. They must have paid their pay to play fee to partake.

  2. This kind of non-sensical thinking by Tietz is the result of a blind hatred of government that has infected a large part of the population. Tietz can't even acknowledge that by letting the government combine the buying power of the entire community, we can get a WAY better price on garbage pickup than if we were to contract individually, like they do in Rochester Hills and some other communities.

    Why on Earth would we want to go to the trouble of contracting our own individual refuse collection, and pay twice as month in the process, when the current system runs so beautifully?

    Oh, and the reason for the tax increase on refuse collection is simple. Gas prices have increased over the last few years, so it costs more for the contractor to operate those trucks.

  3. Maybe we should recall Tietz.

  4. Concerned CitizenMay 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Watching the discussion last night on the refuse situation was mind numbing. $7/year. I wish the city staff had called it a "cost of doing business" increase or something. Calling it a millage increase was all it took for the nit wits to say they couldn't support. These folks usually are all for consolidation of services to save money...which the city did to save refuse costs. Now, it isn't enough. They are like petulant, finicky children at the dinner table; offer them the thing they ate and loved last night and tonight they hate it and make a face, pout and stomp their feet.
    Then when Daniels launched into "we are carrying out our campaign promises" yap, I nearly got sick. Their campaign promises were based on lies, misinformation and a stubborn ideology that is not based in reality. Her comment to Mr. Szerlag about his having done a "fascinating job" but that a new city manager will give a different perspective, were condescending at best. I am amazed at how quickly people with this ideology refuse to listen to experts. Or they only believe information that supports their position and world view.
    Funny when they started to talk about CM candidates they went 10 rounds on private vs public sector people. Oh and military. It's funny since everyone knows the military is SO good at budgeting and keeping costs down. You remember the $400 hammer? Dog and pony show in Troy.

  5. Here's what I know.
    If you contract your own Garbage pickup like Rochester Hills - trash can be at the curb any number of days during the week in your neighborhood. House by house may have trash out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
    I don't even want to discuss the hassle when homes turn over and new residents need to shop trash pickup. Heaven forbid they miss a few weeks -- or don't understand it's not a city service.
    That's unsightly to me. I want all the trash put out one day and collected within 24 hours. Neat and tidy the rest of the week.
    Individual contracting also encourages "trash pickers" to sift through the neighborhoods more days of the week.
    I don't care for that.
    For Troy's household average $106 per year - we get weekly trash pickup, weekly recycling pickup, and weekly compost pickup. That's $2.04 per week. Curbside service. Are you kidding me. You want to add $7 a year to cover costs. Can I afford $2.17 per week.
    Yes. I can.

    1. It's just like the This American Life episode in which tea party people decide ridiculously dumb and selfish things like they would rather pay $300 a year to have streetlamps lit at night only in their neighborhoods, rather than pay $100 a year to have streetlamps on in the whole city.

  6. Ideologues are disasters in any government, but especially bad at the city or local level. The reason? You actually have to get things done for the citizens directly--there is no room or time for blathering, pontificating; standing on personal principle to make a point does not work--needs are immediate and have to be addressed right now. Hating government becomes a big deal when you are the government. Making me pay twice as much for trash removal, having to contract my own, just to prove a point will be the kind of thing that will wake up the sleepy voters of Troy in a big way, and it exposes the naivete and downright stupidity of Tea Party/Libertarians pretty graphically.

    Of course it's not the first time with these folks--the Transit Center is another great example. Daniels, Tietz, Henderson and Flemin's forcing a negotiation to lower the price of the structure did nothing except to compromise a self-sustaining design and deprive local construction, materials and transportation companies of $2 million dollars worth of revenue--just to make a statement.

    Idiots. Recall all four of them, I say.

  7. I hope everyone above is actively involved in the recall and recruiting their friends to collect signatures. She needs to go and the others need to be put on warning orders. There was a reason I moved to Troy many years ago and it wasn't so I could save a few bucks on my taxes. I will not stay if this is how it is going to go and I have talked to others who feel the same. Not all of us are in "dire straits" like several on counsil who are stuck here. Some of us have actual skills that command a good wage, and we don't have to stay here.

  8. Seriously ... this discussion was mind boggling. I truly don't think folks understand the quality of service we get in Troy at an amazing price! But therein lies the issue. A lack of fundamental understanding.