Morrison Spins On The Landfill

Posted in Bad Government Republicans, Commentary, Commissioners Court, Election 2008, Hutto, Landfill, Precinct 4, Williamson County at 12:10 pm by wcnews

On July 29, 2008 the Hutto Citizens Group (HCG) sent an open letter [.pdf] to Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ron Morrison. In it they answered his request that he be provided with, “..a detailed itemization of the components which we believe are essential to any contract the county executes with Waste Management (or any other contractor) for running the county landfill..”. They asked him to, “..please indicate which portions you can endorse, which ones you cannot endorse (and why), and/or what the applicable conditions and caveats might be”.

Morrison did not respond in kind. His response, press release [.pdf], finally came yesterday, and it was lacking in detail, it was extremely non-speicific.

“I look forward to successful and speedy negotiations with Waste Management. I want
to thank the Hutto Citizens Group and many other individuals for their helpful suggestions and
input they have provided over the past year. It has been valuable for me in formulating my
thoughts and opinions regarding the landfill and its operations,” stated Commissioner Morrison.

“It is my desire that many of the citizens’ suggestions can be implemented in the new
contract. I appreciate the patience of all involved as we negotiate what should be a much
improved landfill contract for the citizens of Williamson County,” he added.

Commissioner Morrison’s top priority for the landfill is to extend the life of the landfill
through recycling initiatives as new technology develops. Due to pending negotiations on the
contract, he could not comment further.

The HCG was not impressed, press release [.pdf], with Morrison’s brief response, and effort at spin.

After being asked twice to go public with his position regarding whether or not he agrees with Hutto citizens regarding various requirements for any landfill contract Williamson County might be renegotiating with Waste Management, Inc. (WMI), Precinct 4 Comissioner Ron Morrison issued a press release Monday afternoon, August 12, in which he was silent on all the citizens’ important issues except for recycling.

“To say the least, we’re very disappointed that he has chosen not to fully stand with his constituents,” said Jeff Maurice, chairman of the Landfill Committee for the Hutto Citizens Group (HCG).

To say the least. But, unfortunately, this is what the citizens of Williamson County get when one party/ideology holds all county offices. There’s no accountability. The HCG release continues.

Steven (Bear) Salfelder, president of the Hutto Citizens Group said, “This statement by Commissioner Morrison is an absolute sellout. It appears that he has been stringing us along while giving the impression that he is listening or caring. This press release is a sad day for Hutto but an even sadder day for Commissioner Morrison and his legacy for Precinct 4 constituents.”

“It looks like he simply has chosen to disregard the detailed, substantive input we have developed over the past year,” Maurice said, “If this press release is any indication of what we can expect in a contract, we’ll soon be reading a contract which sells the citizens out.”

According to Maurice, the Hutto citizens and the HCG will take up Morrison’s position at the next meeting of the HCG on Tuesday, August 19, and decide what the citizens’ next step will be. “You can be assured we’re going to do something,” Maurice said.

What Morrison’s statement, full of spin, signals is that since the WCCC was able to “win” the Killeen trash battle against WMI, they now appear willing to cave-in to Waste Management(WMI) on everything else, with regard to extending the contract. While recycling is needed and welcomed, without the county retaking control of the landfill, there’s no guarantee that the recycling efforts, or anything else that’s agreed to in any future contract, will actually take place.

The citizens of Precinct 4 are learning the same lesson that’s been learned in the other precincts around the county. The government of Williamson County will not listen to the people’s concerns. They think they know best, and we’re elected to make these decisions. As far as they’re concerned the people that elected them are able to voice their concerns one time, and one time only. That’s on election day. The only change the people of Precinct 4 can bring to the county government in November, since Morrison is not up for reeelction, is to help elect a new County Attorney, Jaime Lynn. Accountability comes in November.

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