Friday, February 13, 2009

Trash hauling vote - who is kidding who?

This week I've been disappointed with several people about comments over the attempt to waive the bid for the Town's million-dollar trash hauling contract. IMO, the crux of the issue is the ridiculous claims of omniscience when we hear "This is a fair price!"

Comments such as this:

Ecke added there was no indication that the Cheshire waste contract had been tainted by racketeering. (MRJ, Jesse Buchanan)

Or this comment declaring that the 2004 bid process had a "level playing field":



make it obvious that there are people behind the Council desk who are pretending as though this never happened:

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, WALLINGER today admitted that, along with others, he conspired to perpetuate a system, commonly called the “property rights system.” Carters engaged in the property rights system would not service or compete for other carters’ customers. The property rights system essentially destroys free enterprise, allowing the participating carters to artificially inflate their prices and leaving waste removal customers with no other options. In this scheme, which was directed at commercial and municipal customers, participating carters agreed to quote inflated prices to customers controlled by other carters. (Source: DOJ website)

I couldn't believe the degree of intellectual dishonesty, so I did some of my own investigative work on the four companies that bid in 2004:

AJ Waste Systems
Trash Master
Waste Management
American Disposal


I presume Councilman Ecke and his boss



had heard that our trash hauler had some legal problems. But obviously Mr. Ecke was unaware of any other bidders being involved in racketeering. So maybe Mr. Ecke should begin reading the Danbury News Times?

As recently as January 26, 2009, The News Times reported that American Disposal was part of the $100 million Galante trash hauling empire that was engaged in the "property rights system."

Though on the flip side (based on accounts I've heard), Waste Management was completely clean and had nothing to do with the bid rigging.

And I haven't heard anything about Trash Master - good or bad.

So this is in the court of public opinion now. In my opinion, the Council is misrepresenting reality. And that's not to say we're getting an unfair price. No, not at all. I'm simply saying we have no idea if we're getting a fair price - yet this is their claim.

We won't know a "fair price" until true competition has a chance to bid on contracts and flourish.

Tim White

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course one really big question yet unaddressed is just why the town's contracting processes missed the fact that the trash haulers were basically cheating all of us in the first place?

At this point it is more of an historic issue but it did take place on the current TMs watch when some of the current TC members were not yet members. If memory serves me correct the TM was quoted by the Herald at the time the FBI dropped its little bomb that ... oh it was just amazing because even though the Feds found everyone was being cheated the TM and the town were just so happy with the services being received...

So, maybe what the town needs most now is an in-depth root cause evaluation addressing why the town government missed what was happening in the first place. It's amazing the FBI didn't include this in its investigations in the first place. One thing we don't need is another contract awarded in a closed door no-bid fashion with no public view of the activities leading up to an award.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Hall and Ecke are disgraceful at best, corrupted at worst...

Anonymous said...

The GOP/good government symbol this year should be a broom, as in sweeping out the incompetence and corruption of Altieri, Ecke, and Hall (although it may take more like an exorcism to sweep them out).

Robert DeVylder JR. said...

Tim, I congratulate you on your ability to read what other people have written and repeat it to death. The information that you post on your blog prove that you cannot string together your own thought or idea.
Lets start with the idea that we would not get a competitive price with a bid waiver. Looking at the information that you provided from the last time the trash contract was put out to bid, AJ Waste came in $70,000 LESS than the second lowest bid. Being a banker, you must be able to determine which is less, 808,000 or 738,000. (If you have a problem with this, Adult Ed offers Remedial Math)
Second, like you stated, AJ Wallenger is the previous owner of AJ Waste Systems and his sister Bonnie now runs the business. Why would the previous owner make a diffrence? It's like saying Hitlers car is bad because he owned it, like saying dont fly US Airways because a plane crashed, like saying dont listen to Tim White because his father believes/sees/talks to aliens.
F.Y.I. Waste Management, a publicly traded company, was formed by 5 Italian garbage men from New York and New Haven. Trash Masters is owned by a relitive of a Waste Management founder. Ever wonder why Tony Soprano says he works in "Waste Management?"
Tim, think before you act. Alot of people in town, both democrats and republicans, think you and the other republicans dropped the ball on this vote. Try getting off the party line once in a while and have an original thought.

Robert DeVylder JR said...

Also, grow a set people... why cant anyone use their name here? are you ashamed of your opinion? I am a registered republican and I will urge everyone to vote against Tim White.

If anyone wants to reply to what I said, use your name or dont bother.

tim white said...

Robert, as we just discussed on the phone - I must make my decision based on what is known to be fact. And IMO, the previous bid does not allow us to know a fair price for 2004. Therefore, while all subsequent increases have been relatively small... I still don't know a "fair price" for 2009 because it's based on the 2004 number.

Anonymous said...

To Robert DeVylder,

First I really appreciate that you post your name here. I wish others would do the same.

I would like you to comment on your following comments:

First, "Tim, think before you act. Alot of people in town, both democrats and republicans, think you and the other republicans dropped the ball on this vote."

Can you explain what specifically the republicans did to drop the ball here? I am having trouble following your thought process that because the bid was 70K less than the next bid then this is a good bid. If the goverment pays $120 for a screwdriver because it is $80 less than the next bid does that mean they got a competitive price? Is this why they dropped the ball?

Second, "I am a registered republican and I will urge everyone to vote against Tim White."

What specifically is your issue as I do plan to vote for him?

I look forward to response,

Best Regards,

Mike Ulicki
Cheshire

Anonymous said...

Where to start... White - your thoughts are you own and you are entitled to them. However shortsighted and simple they may be. What I am shocked and disgusted at is how you can throw AJ Wallinger's name into the mud over and over again. You should take more time to get FACTS. You are mislead and sadly you are in the process of misleading others. Wallinger has done nothing but an excellent job for the town of Cheshire and that should be what you base your opinion on. Not on a case where a small town guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do the research - does one wrong damage an entire person and their company, does doing what you thought you had to do give others the right to drag your name through any media that will allow it? Is hurting others so important to you? Is your 15 minutes so meaningful to you that you are willing to hurt Wallinger and his family? White - you are nothing short of pathetic and I hope what comes around goes around!!!!

Breachway said...

AJ must be an oil client of DeVylders
- under different management? Please. Your comparisons are idiotic. Hitlers car? I personally used AJ for all my containers. The service was great. When the story broke- so did I....I will never use AJ again.

Anonymous said...

Question for Mr D.
-Are they changing their name to Bonnie Waste?

Anonymous said...

Hey DeVylder---i am responding without leaving my name.

Anonymous said...

Not naming anyone but certainly today's Republicans should all understand that business cheats and crooks need to be punished to the full extent of the law. Republicans should understand that government contracts won through illegal means should be made VOID ASAP. It is a lesson our local Democrat majority has not yet fully appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is picking on AJ. It's just good business to get more than one quote. I'm sure that some of the people that are complaining do get more than one quote when it is their own business. Is it wrong to get a second opinion from a doctor and to find out other options?

Keep up the good work Tim: Sometimes, even if we have to pay more, it's good to know that the dealings of the town are open and are aimed at getting the best service at a reasonable cost from reliable people.

tim white said...

8:33 and others... thanks.

Robert DeVylder JR said...

F.Y.I. - I do not currently nor have I ever delivered oil to any members of the Wallinger family.

This entire process is now tainted and any bids recieved should be thrown out regardless of how low or benificial they may be. Nothing says "screw you" like running to the media to tell them how much AJ Waste bid and ultimatly rejected. How can anyone with the slightest bit of common sense believe that future bids will not be tainted? The purpose of a bid is for a supplier to sit down and figure out exactly how much it will cost to provide a service. Printing AJ's current offer BEFORE putting out a bid request does nothing but hurt AJ Waste. I have not spoken to any member of the Wallinger family or any employees of AJ Waste and I am not speaking on their behalf, but if I were them, I would have my lawyer talking to the town's lawyer, every council members lawyer, and every media outlet's lawyer that mentioned any dollar amount regarding this issue.

Tim, you said that the committee surprised you by bringing this to vote. If you are 1/3 of the solid waste committee, did you surprise yourself? According to the Town of Cheshire web site, the committee is yourself, Alteri, and DeCaprio.

From the Record Journal article, Thursday, Feb 12,2009 page 21 - I quote:
"DeCaprio was dissapointed that the price offered by AJ Waste was turned down. She said the information given the company's owner, Bonnie Wallinger, about the increasing price of recyclables was verified by other companies and towns and there was little possibility of a better deal"
Tim, I get the impression that you did not attend a committee meeting or simply did not pay attention. Which is it Tim?
Why are Hall and Ecke "disgraceful"? Is it because they voted based on information recieved during a meeting? Because they believed that they were voting for a good deal? I think they go to their assigned meetings and do their best to represent the residents of this town.

tim white said...

Robert, we've had two solid waste meetings relating to the trash hauling contract. I attended both and participated in both.

Anonymous said...

The Godfather writes:
Mr. Devylder: you are in the oil business and you are passing judgment on A.J. Carting?

Robert DeVylder JR said...

Then, why didn't you know what the other members knew? Which Republican told you to vote against the extention and how long did it take you to make up a B.S. excuse to justify your vote?

Robert DeVylder JR said...

Godfather, please explain yourself. I am kind of lost as to why I cant offer my comments on the garbage contract because I sell oil.

tim white said...

Robert, I don't totally understand your point... but I'll try to elaborate...

On Tuesday at 6:45pm the Solid Waste Committee met. It was supposed to be for 15 minutes to discuss a bid waiver for a million dollar contract.

I had concerns and suggested to the Solid Waste Chair, Altieri, that we delay the vote for two weeks to discuss the issue further to consider alternatives to waiving the bid on a million dollar contract. He rejected my suggestion and brought it to a vote.

Anonymous said...

speaking of being corrupt did not tim white call conn combustion 2x during the norton boiler thing
and he hasthe nerve to call out any one else
bad judgment

Anonymous said...

Mr DeVylder,
I don't know if you had seen this but I found it in another section of this blog. I think you are on to something. Counciler White apears to be changing his mind under influence. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, January 22, 2009
Trash hauling contract 1/21
Though we just finished a long process sealing a new trash disposal contract... now the Town's trash hauling contract is about to expire on June 30 2009.

So to recap some critical numbers, we generate about 8,000 tonnes of residential trash per year:

And the hauling fee for that 8,000 tonnes is:My question - do we bid the service?

My immediate reaction was to suggest we go out to bid. As I said last night... particularly with all of the controversy (think Gallante) surrounding this service... my automatic reaction is to go to bid. And we obviously need to do that, but not necessarily this year.

Because on the flipside, extending a five year contract by one year is not necessarily bad*... though in this case, I'm much more hesitant in doing so... for the above mentioned reason.

I asked staff if there were administrative reasons to extend the contract for one year. The answer was "no, we can make the bidding process happen in a timely manner."

So the answer seems simple - go bid it right now. But...

As many of you know, the commodities market has tanked. In other words, the recyclables market has tanked. I mentioned this in early December 2008.

Therein lies a potentially costly issue.

According to our current hauler, AJ Waste, residential garbage includes about 1,000 tonnes of paper and 500 tonnes of plastic... above and beyond the 8,000 tonnes of garbage. They elaborated saying that paper sold for $60/ton one year ago and now costs $30/ton to dump. Likewise, plastics have had a similar but less dramatic swing in the $50/ton range... rather than a nearly $100/ton swing.

So the two possibilities currently under consideration:

1) If we stay with AJ for one more year, they would give us about the same rate that we currently have... with a bump up.

2) If we go out to bid, prices could come down. But the recyclable component may add a significant new cost to the program.

Obviously, the Council needs to confirm some of these recycling numbers. So staff is going to make that happen.

In the meantime, I'd really like to hear from you... particularly in light of the Gallante stuff... must the Town go out to bid this year? Or would it be appropriate for the town to extend this contract one year in light of the volatility of the recyclables market?

And there's one more possible consideration... if we bid for a new contract to begin on July 1 2010, then we could incorporate automated collection in the bid. That means you'd get a 96 gallon bin that could be picked up with a big arm. This would reduce the staff on the truck from three to one. So over the course of time, AJ would reduce staff costs and get the payback on the new equipment. But if we go out to bid right now, that's likely off the table for July 1 2009 because of time constraints... as well as the realities of the credit markets.

My gut reaction is to always go out to bid. But in this case, considering:

1) the recyclable aspect
2) the possibility of moving to a more automated pickup
3) the well-known budgetary constraints facing the taxpayers this year

I'm leaning toward extending it one year.

What do you think?

Tim White

* The Council extended the most recent former auditors contract by a year or two

Also want to mention that the Solid Waste Chairman, Matt Altieri, did a good job guiding this meeting... as he did with the trash disposal discussions.

Anonymous said...

I would ask Mr. DeVylder to produce his Republican Party Card. I think he is drinking the Kool-Aid.
It doesn't surprise me that someone in his line of business would want us to just keep doing business with a company whose previous owner (very poor camparison when you caompare Wallinger's wife's relationship with a a person who bought Hitler's used car)admitted to being part of a price fixing scam. That's why we shop around for the best oil value.
I'll put it in your terms, if an Oil company is charging $2.75 a gallon for oil, but you have been their customer for 3 years, should we just continue paying that high price or should we shop around to see if there is a better price?
You really need to grow up Mr. Devylder. I begin to wonder about a person who throws around phrases that mention Hitler, the Godfataher,Italian garbage men and Tony Soprano.
I don't know who you are polling out there, but I know many Republicans and Democrats who are in full support of Tim questioning this.
Please, as a favor to all TRUE Republicans, switch parties!

Anonymous said...

I also have to believe that some of these Pro-Devylder comments here from anonymous are acctually coming from Mr. Devylder.

Come clean Mr. Devylder. who is putting you up to this?

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap = are you people kidding me? You sit here and attack Wallinger comparing him to the Sopranos and such. Wallinger is a small town, Irish boy who got caught up in something he really wanted no part of. You people pass judgement on someone you don't know and on something you do not have all the facts on. I can only assume after reading the load of BS that you people have written that you also purchase and believe everything you read in the National Enquirer. Sad.

If Cheshire is stupid enough to put this back out to bid I hope and pray the lowest bid is ten to hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what AJ Waste offered you. It would serve each and everyone of you right -

tim white said...

4:54 The reason I called CT Comb was because town staff knowingly withheld information from me... information that I believe was shared with the Council Chairman in a timely manner.

I don't want to make decisions based on incomplete information.

If the Council shared your concern, we know the majority is comfortable conducting an investigation - a la Shenanigate and the Town Clerk.

Anonymous said...

7:22 PM
Obviously another loon...
In this economy, when everyone is doing anything they can do to get business, I would be surprised if it is higher.
I do wonder where all these negative comments are coming from towards Tim?
Are they really just 1 person?
Mr. DeVylder was the one who brought up the Sopranos and Hitler comments, check it for yourself.
And whe you say "Wallinger is a small town, Irish boy who got caught up in something he really wanted no part of", I assume you must have the facts, so why not enlighten us.
Or are you one of those who feel everyone in prison is innocent?
Facts are all we want. Facts are all Tim wants.
Give them to us so we can understand why you feel that way.

Just remember, whether or not he is a nice guy is not relevant here. Whether or not he didn't want to get involved is not the issue, the bottom line is he did get involved. He was part of the price fix that cost us all. So why should we reward the company that he started and is now owned by his wife the business without doing the right thing and putting it out to bid?
If they want to play games and over bid what the aggreement would have been for next year then let them risk losing the job.

Anonymous said...

7:22

Before you start calling people out on not knowing facts - check yours. Wallinger's wife does not own any part of AJ Waste Systems.

Anonymous said...

I apologize--wife or sister...still a family memberand still the same impression, I am sure he has "nothing" to do with the decisions going on in the business.
Just like A-Roid didn't know he was cheating.

Anonymous said...

tim was not supposed to call anyone who was about sue us
no one withheld inform from anyone
lotta guts he has calling anyone corrupt
fake

Anonymous said...

Tim did the right thing to protect this town from underhanded politics. To protect this town from allowing certain TC members cronies to get the jobs they don't deserve.
It's called cheating the system and perhaps you may be one of those TC cronies trying to get these jobs.

Sorry, doesn't fly with most of us decent citizens!
Tim must keep fighting for us.

tim white said...

7:08 information was deliberately withheld from me. I've demonstrated that quite clearly on this blog, using video and links, etc.

Your comments are way offbase.

If anyone wants me to further explain, I encourage you to email me directly. But these scurrilous claims are nonsense.

Also, who did I call corrupt?

tim white said...

timwhite98atyahoodotcom

Anonymous said...

hotwatergate means something is corrupt
have the courage to stand behind it or step off

Anonymous said...

You're damn right Hot Watergate was corruption at its best.
You tell us why you feel it wasn't?

When a bid is done 3 times for the same job and conveniently given to a local company with ties to TC members after ridiculous claims and a lot higher than original bids would have been, then that is corrupt.
That may be a way you like to do business, but honest citizens like to have things done the fair and honest way. Not deals done behind closed doors the way Hall/Ecke/Altieri etc. like to!