Town Hall Talks About Trash, Leaf Collection
Tuesday's forum was hosted by Ward 1 Creve Coeur City Councilmembers.
Two city council members – as well as Creve Coeur’s city administrator got an earful at a Ward 1 town hall meeting Tuesday about a wide range of topics.
One of the most prevalent items at Tuesday's town hall meeting featuring Ward 1 Councilwoman Beth Kistner, Ward 1 Councilman David Kreuter and City Administrator Mark Perkins was trash collection. In 2010, Creve Coeur voters approved a hike to the city's sales tax in lieu of charging a fee for trash collection for three years. But numerous people questioned why the sales tax increase went for other services when city leaders said the focus was primarily on avoiding a trash fee.
Perkins said the tax increase was not dedicated for only trash.
“It was for any general operations,” said Perkins, adding that the money could go for leaf collection, police service and snow removal. “All of that’s in the city’s general fund.”
In that same vein, one woman – who declined to give her name – said that an ordinance against placing leaves or debris on the sidewalk or on the right-of-way wasn’t being enforced enough. She suggested either following through with the ordinance or taking it off the books.
“If you have rules and don’t enforce them, what’s the use?” she said.
Perkins said citing a resident for placing leaves or debris in the sidewalks is difficult, mainly because such action would have to be witnessed by a city official.
“We probably have to have to have a witness to that,” Perkins said. “The enforcement time we would have on this, there are some ordinances that are difficult to enforce. And then there’s the issue of equity and consistency. We have this all over town. I would be writing a thousand tickets.”
“Are we really going to do that? If we write it for one, how come we’re not writing it for all the others,” Perkins added. “You’re talking about a monumental time of our staff to do that. Is it really, really, really worth it?”
Kistner said the city “has a conundrum” with how it deals with leaves.
“We have a leaf program, residents really like it, we basically invited people to rake up their leaves and put them out,” Kistner said. “What we need to do is some brainstorming, some thinking about this. I don’t know what the answer is. But I’d like to give some thought about how we [are going to deal with this issue].”
Other participants asked about less controversial matters. David Caldwell, for instance, asked Perkins about coyotes appearing in the city. Perkins said he didn’t know whether there was any plan in terms of population control.
Neal Breitweiser asked about the best procedure to fix potholes. Perkins said it would be best for someone to call the public works department.
“We will get out there and get that patched within a day or two,” Perkins said.
The meeting was supposed to take place in October, right around the time a controversy over a proposal to build a Chick-Fil-A on Olive Blvd. was ripe. But that proposal was eventually scrapped. And the meeting was scheduled right around the time the Cardinals were making their run for a World Series championship.
“In the interest between not making people choose between watching the Cardinals and coming to participate in their city government, and given that the hottest topic was no longer, we made the decision to postpone it and not have that conflict,” Kistner said.