Letter to the Editor: Saying no to single trash hauler

Dear Editor,

(This is an open letter to Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle.)
I have been a resident property owner in Independence Township for 41 years, and I am writing to you about your push to have a single trash hauling company for the township.
First, let me address the reason you provided to explain why the township needs a single trash hauler. You say we should have only one trash hauler to maintain all the newly paved roads (which are guaranteed for 10 years) and reduce the wear and tear caused by trash hauler traffic. Did you consider all the delivery truck traffic as more people in our township shop online? Do you also propose to allow only UPS trucks and exclude FedEx? What about all the lawn-maintenance vehicles that are on our roads? No, I don’t think wear and tear on the newly paved roads is an adequate reason, more likely an excuse for a single hauler.
Wear and tear on newly paved roads and township streets is a weak argument for taking away our right as citizens to choose a service and it makes even less sense to have just one trash hauler in Independence Township when the neighborhoods are considered private property and not your concern because they finance their own paving. Can you regulate all other traffic to save the roads? And aren’t the new roads guaranteed for 10 years?
I think this has more to do with re-routing income and putting it in the township’s control, placing it as a tax burden on all the residents. What happens when prices are raised and these increases are passed onto the residents who have no say in the matter? And speaking of prices, the resident would have no choice. When Smith’s left and Advanced took over, within a couple of months, Advanced raised their rates by $16 using the excuse that they were “adjusting for fuel increases.” And do you remember that you proposed the one hauler idea when Smith’s was still in business? Many residents were opposed to the idea then and many still are.
I want the ability to change haulers when prices are raised or when the service is poor. I don’t want to give up my right to choose or to change haulers because the township wants to control the purse strings of a single hauler.
The next point I want to make is this: What gives you the right to take the business and profit away from five or six other trash haulers and award it to one company? Do you even have the right to sanction a monopoly by destroying all competition? There are only a few companies capable of hauling the trash for the whole township and I’m sure Advanced will be selected because they are local. Advanced is probably the least competitive of all the haulers and the biggest price gauger. I do not want to use that service.
Finally, if the township passes the single hauler proposal, they will be billing residents for this service and they will not be doing that for free. We will be forced to pay an administrative fee just as Lake Orion’s citizens are. Even those who do not presently use a trash hauling service will be forced to pay for one or face having the fees added to their taxes.
In conclusion, I oppose the single trash hauler proposal. Pushing this change will eliminate income for several trash haulers and potentially put them out of business. It will eliminate choice for residents. It will place control of the fees squarely within the township’s purview. The change will place fees on homeowners, creating the potential for liens on the property owner, and it will corrupt the concept of legality to the businesses that are left out.
I am against this trash hauler idea. It is bad for every citizen in this township and only benefits the township, who gains control of more income and the ability to place liens on our property taxes. I like competition and choosing between competing businesses. I am happy to keep my right to choose and keep it out of the township’s control.

Edward L. Stoner

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