Discussion about what direction the city of Weyauwega goes for residential garbage and recycling pick up continues at next week’s common council meeting.
Mayor Mike Kempf is expected to explain during the Monday, Jan. 19, meeting why he vetoed the council’s most recent action to contract with Harter’s Fox Valley for two years, with an option for a third year.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Weyauwega Public Libary’s lower level meeting room. It is open to the public.
The council voted 4-2 during a special Jan. 5 council meeting to contract with Harter’s Fox Valley, after Ald. Scott Rasmussen asked for a reconsideration of the council’s December vote on the matter.
Shani Appleby, Nick Gunderson, Keith Nadjowski and Rasumssen voted in favor of the motion, while Bruce Brunner and Johanna Edwards voted against it.
On Saturday, Jan. 10, the mayor vetoed the action.
City Administrator Patrick Wetzel said it takes a two-third majority to override a veto, which would be four on the six-member council.
In December, the council voted 3-3 to contract with the company.
Appleby, Gunderson and Keith Nadjowski voted in favor of it, while Brunner, Edwards and Rasmussen voted against it.
Kempf broke the tie and voted against what was a recommendation from the city’s Public Works Committee.
The matter was scheduled to go back before the Public Works Committee on Monday, Jan. 12.
However, on one of the final days of 2014, Rasmussen emailed Wetzel, asking for a reconsideration of the Dec. 15 vote.
A special council meeting was already slated to occur to review assessor quotes before Wetzel received that email.
That meeting ended up being scheduled for Jan. 5.
During the meeting, Wetzel explained that someone who votes in the majority on an issue may request for a reconsideration of the vote. That reconsideration then has to take place at the next scheduled council meeting, which is why it took place during the special Jan. 5 meeting rather than the council’s regularly scheduled meeting, which this month is on Jan. 19.
Since Rasmussen voted on what became the prevailing side in December, following the mayor breaking the tie vote, he could ask for a reconsideration of it.
Graichen Sanitation and Harter’s Fox Valley were the two contractors that provided quotes.
Harter’s Fox Valley quoted an annual cost for the first year of $81,086 for combined residential garbage and recycling with a monthly garbage rate of $8 and a monthly recyling rate of $2.46 per home.
The city currently contracts with Graichen Sanitation for weekly garbage and monthly recycling pick up.
It quoted an annual cost of $87,985, with a monthly garbage rate of $9.35 and monthly recycling rate of $2 per home.
During the Dec. 8 Public Works Committee meeting, Lynn Graichen presented two revisions to the quote originally presented. Those revisions resulted in the council’s split decision.
“I trust in the committee of public works that they did their due diligence when they reviewed the quotes,” Rasmussen said during the Jan. 5 council meeting. “I have a problem with this committee (the council) for even allowing a second quote. I fear it will taint the council with future RFP’s.”
He said it undermines the city’s integrity and that if Graichen is allowed to resubmit a quote, Harter’s should be allowed to also.
Edwards said her opinion was not swayed one way or the other because of Graichen’s second quotes, something she said the council learned from the administrator and city attorney is technically not illegal to do.
She spoke about Graichen’s longevity in the community of about 20 years.
Kempf spoke against the idea of reconsidering the December vote on the issue.
Residents told him, “Do not change our garbage,” he said.
The mayor said when he told people there is a “little difference in price,” they said they did not care and want the city to continue contracting with Graichen.
Both vendors were at the December council meeting, and there was ample time to ask questions before the vote, Kempf said.
“I don’t think it’s a question of who’s a better provider,” Rasmussen said. “I’m exercising my right to reconsider the issue for ethical reasons as a council member.”
Wetzel said that while it is not illegal to accept revised quotes, neither the committee or council accepted them.
“That was never acted on,” he said.
After the council voted 4-2 on Jan. 5 to contract with Harter’s Fox Valley, Kempf noted city meetings are videotaped and expressed his hope that community members see the council does not “really care to be with local people.”