Monday, June 20, 2005

Check Please

Kudos to Frank Lombardi for focusing on a major unexamined issue in the trash debate: its immense and escalating cost. Frank highlights the over $1 billion a year price tag for disposing our garbage in out-of-town landfills. The key point is the $1.23 billion earmarked in the capital budget most of which will go to the building of the mayor’s marine transfer stations (We’ll take the over in this bet. There’s no way the price tag won’t skyrocket).

Once again, however, the commercial trash dilemma is left unexamined and, since those transfer stations processing this waste cause a great deal of the neighborhood problems, we’re able to clearly see that the mayor’s proposal is only a decent quarter step in the right direction.

The one point on which the mayor’s people are right on target is the lack of a timely discussion of these issues when the mayor’s plan was first introduced eight months ago. Too often debate becomes last minute and hectic as a key vote approaches. The Speaker should have been working on a critique of the mayor’s plan and have begun hearings on it prior to the whole siting controversy. He then wouldn’t have been as easily attacked for a self-serving opposition the 91st street transfer station.