Notes on July 13, 2020 Regular Meeting
Here are some notes and comments on today's Board meeting. Some of this is blunt to the point of being rude, which is a liberating change from having to continually gently correct stubbornly held uninformed opinions.
Damage Summary: Loss of glass collection with potential revenue, waste of glass inventory potential revenue, loss of litter program, waste of $3,500 potential grant, waste of 2008 GMC Savana small box truck, waste of book sales potential revenue. Negligence continues unchecked. RCC fails to pay for vehicle maintenance budgetary damage.
Solid Waste Management Board Attended: Carol Throckmorton and Nicole Hunter attended, and offered a lot of guidance, desperately needed by this inexperienced Board.
Board Elected Officers: Chair is Mark Bossert, Vice-Chair is David Goff Moore, Secretary is Jennifer Randolph, and Treasurer is Andrew Corkrean. While lacking experience and competence, at least Mark and David did not hand control of RCSWA over to RCC.
Grant Reports: Andrew will administer grants, as Treasurer. This is handing a large amount of influence to RCC, though as long as Mark maintains the books, due diligence as Chair, and they still send draft reports to the entire Board for review, there isn't much room for abuse.
Waste of Small Box Truck: Board voted to sell the truck on GovDeals, as-is. No serious discussion or actual effort to find someone to help with repairs, no effort to get funding from RCC for repairs at a local auto shop. Just dispose of it, this is an enormous waste - negligence.
Small Box Truck Background: This 2008 GMC Savana cutaway small box truck has a bit under 38,000 miles, but its been poorly maintained for lack of funding, though some of the rust problems are poor corrosion protection by the manufacturer. Breaks are rust seized, rear differential cover plate is rotted & leaking, radiator & heater core need replaced, and it needs serious rust abatement, including a few body rust holes. This repair work was underway with volunteer labor but stopped by RCC removing the person doing the work, now RCSWA cannot afford these repairs. Current condition is 2 brake calipers are not mounted, 1 brake bracket has a rust seized caliper pin with a sheered off bolt, wheels have 4 of 8 lugs on, 2 wheels have 1 rust welded stripped lug nut, calipers might be salvageable but not cost effective with paid labor.
New Pickup Truck in REAP Grant: Andrew was assigned to check prices on a new small box truck from the state-wide contract. Background note, purchase of the new Ram 2500 was stopped until REAP can review this situation and make a determination, a budget change will be required to get a different vehicle.
Books: They decided to recycle the books, instead of trying to sell them. Previous plan was, once Suddenlink internet service is available in August, sell them online, with Board members doing the initial setup, then hand it off to an employee. This is a waste of potential revenue without due diligence on determining its viability - negligence.
Glass: They decided to stop accepting glass this week (e.g. last day on 7/17), without much discussion. David Goff Moore offered a typical display of stupidity, in saying he talked to Bradish Glass a few months ago (actually August 2019), thought the value of glass would offset the hauling costs (that it does not was covered numerous times), and said he would work with Cathy to figure out what to do with the glass inventory (ignoring the 2 quotes received in June, mentioned in multiple emails and the hostile takeover report). This is typical of David, to ignore available information, make ignorant comments, and try to act impulsively. The Bradish Glass quote received 6/5/20 is $360 to haul off 14 tons of sorted glass in a 3-compartment roll-off dumpster, with a few days to load it. The Strategic Materials glass haul quote is less, $347 (iirc) but its in a tractor trailer, so the boxes need to be intact, many of ours are too badly weather damaged to transport.
- Analysis of Glass Collection: Current inventory is roughly 15 tons in 42-44 boxes, collected over roughly the past 14 months, maybe 13 tons per year. There are a few different views on cost of collection, my preference is to use two formulas to set minimum and maximum value range rather than a single figure. For the subsidized average expenses-over-tonnage view, estimate operating cost is $37,896/year (excluding insurance), minus a tipping fee allocation of $24,000/year, 2019 tonnage is 140.7 tons, so the subsidized tonnage rate of 2019 is $98.763/ton, 13 tons/yr is $1,283.92, hauling cost is $360, so the cost of accepting glass is roughly $1,643.92 per year, maximum. For the subsidized direct-cost view, estimate 52 hours of labor a year (1hr/wk) at $11/hour, dumpster loading cost of $143.50 (2 guys for 7 hours), hauling cost is $360, so the cost of accepting glass is roughly $1,075.50 per year, minimum. This loss needs to be offset by some other profit, roughly $89.63 to $136.99 per month. From a narrow-minded business perspective this makes sense, but first it should be put out for public comment and further analysis done to look for ways to make it sustainable - failure to do this is negligence.
- Glass Products: No discussion on glass products, abandoning this potential revenue stream without due diligence is more negligence.
Litter Program/Grant: They decided to abandon this, or maybe revisit it next year with the REAP Litter Control Grant, and return the $3,500 to RCC. What was said was false to the point of being manipulative, and some was the exact opposite of the program plan. In short, that "their volunteers" didn't want the hassle of having to go pickup & return free equipment & supplies at the recycling center, reporting events, and "rules". The program was not exclusively for Spencer Better Environment, it was to start with them and expand to several other groups around Roane County, including student/youth groups, people doing community service, Day Report Center, and later prisoners under §22C-4-22, each group doing one event per month, to average one event per week. Bottom line is they wanted that $3,500 exclusively for the litter group they volunteer with, not to share with a county-wide program, and when they couldn't get that they undermined the program development effort, and misrepresented the situation. Instead, the program is ruined, they get nothing, other groups get nothing. Further, the Board made no effort to change the program/grant to do something, anything else, to support litter cleanup in Roane, seemingly it didn't even occur to them to try - negligence. The $3,500 loan will be repaid to RCC, entirely wasting this grant opportunity.
Litter Program/Grant Summary: Free equipment rental, supply pantry, and event coordination. Volunteer groups were required to register events, pickup equipment & supplies, return equipment & any recyclables, and report on event results - but regular volunteers could keep a set of equipment & supplies for personal use (no reporting). Managed by a RCSWA Litter Committee of David, Cathy, and volunteers, details on this were extensive, with an operational focus on event planning & coordination. Goal was to recruit several groups to average one event per month, for an overall average of one event per week. Third draft of the program plan expanded in scope to be more comprehensive, with multiple expansion points, including Litter Control Officer participation, coordination with local law enforcement for increased ticketing (littering, trash burning, dumping), Day Report Center assignments for litter cleanup, and various fund raisers. RCSWA failed to act on this due to Mark's disruption of the June Board meeting.
Read the full RCSWA Litter Program Outline (pdf, r3, 5/27/20, 11 pages).
Overall: It is good to see Mark and David are finally making an effort, rather than obstructing everything, but it is sad their negligence is continuing unchecked. The damage they have caused thus far will make it more difficult to achieve financial sustainability through CY'21, and diminishes RCSWA public benefit.