Jacksonville’s local TV stations are reporting on the latest Waste Management no-bid contract survey conducted by American Public Dialogue. The survey says: More than eighty percent of the 400 adult Jacksonville residents interviewed oppose the Mayor giving Waste Management a no-bid contract. And the number of adults who are aware of the Waste Management no-bid contract issue showed a marked increase from the previous survey in January. Back then, only 30% of the people surveyed were familiar with the issue; now, 70% of the people surveyed are familiar with the issue.
The Mayor’s spokesperson, Misty Skipper, claims Jacksonville’s citizens just don’t understand….that the survey questions were too simplistic for such a complex issue….that essentially Jacksonville’s citizens couldn’t really understand the issue without the Mayor’s 45 minute presentation.
I respectfully disagree. Jacksonville’s citizenry has had numerous opportunities over the past few months to educate themselves on the issue – with all sides getting to state their arguments in support of their position. Over the past year, quite a few articles have appeared in the Times Union, on TV stations, and in local blog posts such as those here on Jaxpolitics. (You can find Jaxpolitics’ posts by searching “Trail Ridge” or “Waste Management” on the site.) In addition, Waste Management’s main competitor, Republic Services, has been making presentations at recent CPAC meetings as evidenced by the meeting minutes for several of the CPACs. And the TU even posted the draft contract so that citizens could read it and decide for themselves.
Thank goodness City Council members give Jacksonville’s citizenry more credit than the Mayor does. Their deliberations on the matter start this week with a public hearing at 2pm on Thursday.