Suggestions for SPSA

Published 8:08 am Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have heard much and read many articles about the Southeastern Public Service Authority, and I have not seen any steps that are being taken to correct the mistakes and mismanagement of the organization.

It is frustrating that the people are not involved in searching for solutions to the problems. I hope the Southampton Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at its board meeting Monday night so that the citizens can be heard before Southampton County agrees on Wednesday to this high tipping fee.

I was glad to see that Chesapeake is going to fight these high fees. I have deep appreciation to Franklin for holding two public hearings on SPSA.

I’d like to list several suggestions that need to be discussed:

■ Restructuring. The only way this will happen is to let SPSA go into some form of bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy court will force the company to be financially responsible.

■ Make the company provide a comprehensive plan on how it will become more effective in doing business. The second part of this is to request all officials and employees to take a 20 percent pay cut. If anyone wants to quit, there are probably 10 other people out here who are willing to do the job. With a 20 percent pay cut, there will still be officials making more than $100,000 a year. Do you want people in the county who are living on fixed incomes, ones without jobs and those living on minimum income paying for these high tipping fees? They can not afford it.

■ If the company is running at less than two-thirds capacity, then lay off all the unnecessary workers.

■ If the elected officials fail to make the hard decisions, we need to look into doing half of our own trash disposal. We have every trash Dumpster site manned, so let those employees separate all the wood, leaves and organic matter from the rest of the trash into a different Dumpster. That wood material can be run through a chipper or cutter to make mulch. Wood products make up the largest part of the total trash.

■ We all can help to control the amount of money we have to pay by cutting down on the amount of trash we take to the Dumpster. Metals, paper and some plastics can be recycled.

■ I would like to know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars SPSA has paid to consultants in the past two years. An example is hiring a public relations firm to convince Southampton citizens to allow a landfill in the Adams Grove area when all they’d have to do is hold a public hearing and the citizens would express their opinions and concerns, at no cost to the county.

I hope we will join Chesapeake in fighting the increase. I realize we are in an agreement until 2018, but I think the courts would use common sense in controlling increased rates to cover the mismanagement of SPSA.

It is very important to watch the Board of Supervisors’ reaction because this will give us some indication as to how our county officials are going to handle next year’s county budget.