Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Village Buzz - September 23rd...

Germantown, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

Last Night's Special Meeting...

The reason for and results of the Board's special meeting last evening remain a tightly-held secret.  In spite of my digging, I have been unable to gather anything more than hypotheses and that is not something I would speculate about in this forum.

That having been said, I will continue the quest.

Garbage Pick-Up Funding...

I discussed, in an earlier Village Buzz segment, the fact that some discussion has been had over the manner in which garbage pick-up costs have been and might be handled in the future.  I had a most pleasant and informative visit with a gentleman from Germantown who stays on top of much that occurs within the community.  Dick Kent has compiled a treatise that he has provided to the members of the General Government & Finance Committee.  He has been adamant that this presents information only and does not attempt to suggest the proper approach.  I have extracted from and interpreted that information for the following:

Municipal Code Section 11:08 (2) is a cryptically worded code section that does not clearly define which residents are to be excluded from municipal garbage collection services.  Some of the classic explanations made to residents questioning why they are excluded from collection have included:

    • your homes are not free-standing single family residences
    • the original developer of your development signed an agreement that no successor homeowners would ask for Village garbage pick-up
    • your "street" was not built to accepted standards and cannot be accepted as an official street for collection purposes
    • homeowners in an organized development have greater bargaining power and the ability to contract for garbage pick-up and are, therefore, reasonably excluded from municipal pick-up

In one instance, he points out that a Village Trustee who owns a home in Lake Park does not receive municipal garbage collection while he can observe from his window an identical home that does receive such municipal pick-up.

There have been problems over interpretation for some time.  A Washington County Judge opined as to the difficulty of his task when deciding issues brought to his attention with this Code involved.

Among the solutions available, whether or not desirable, would be moving to a fee-based system for all and removing the tax-based costs from the budget.  Mr. Kent describes this as amounting to about a 5% reduction in property taxes while recognizing that it would be most unlikely that an actual reduction would be seen given the tough decisions facing the Board.

He also mentioned that commercial and industrial concerns would benefit from such a change since they pay taxes that include such fees but do not receive municipal service.

The question is certainly one that needs be discussed in light of the budget issues we face.  Again, it is pleasant to be a Blogger and not a Trustee in such situations.

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