Letter to Mayor Carter: Please Renegotiate the Trash Contract Now

Saint Paul City Council Candidate for Ward 1: Abu Nayeem

Published: 09/05/19; Last Edit: 09/08/19

Dear Mayor Carter,

I beg you to tell the truth that the city is NOT legally required to follow the current contract with the trash consortium on behalf of Saint Paul residents. In the lawsuit that allow the referendum to be on the ballot, Judge Castro’s ruling instituted a “Force Majeure” clause (on page 10) that nullified the current contract, in which, the ruling was later supported by the Minnesota Supreme Court. In layman terms, the city can renegotiate the contract with the trash consortium to get cheaper prices, options for opt-out/sharing garbage bins, and quality control measures. Finally, this process can be initiated before the referendum vote on November 5th.

On the other hand, if you continue to insist that the contract is locked under the threat of increasing the city tax levy by 17%, there will be long-lasting frustration among residents. This will undermine any new proposals, such as organized plowing in alleys. Suppose if the referendum does pass, public relations will worsen even further, and there will be additional lawsuits to challenge the current contract costing taxpayers more money and anxiety on our city’s future. 

Personally, as a citizen, I am for an organized trash service. The benefits of reduced trucks in the alleyways, less damage on the roads, and reduced psychic costs of seeking a hauler is more favorable than the old system of choosing a hauler, which would be more expensive than prior years. Though I think we can get a much better deal. However, for organized trash to be viable in the long-term future, even if the referendum fails to pass, you need to treat residents with respect and dignity. Otherwise, a renewed contract will likely fail, and the headache of Saint Paul trash will persist for years.

It should be clear to everyone, even allies for organized trash, that the best option for Saint Paul is for you to renegotiate the contract as soon as possible. Please make the right decision, otherwise I’ll be voting NO on  the referendum this November 5th and will advise others to do the same.

Abu Nayeem

P.S. I am running for Saint Paul city council candidate for Ward 1, and it’s essential that our council members build trust with residents, forward thinking, and effectively collaborate with the mayoral administration.

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