This post is too long for a traditional Facebook post. It is intended to be a response to Ms. Tiffany Starrs posts referencing the Citys solid waste removal contract. Ms. Starr, you have made many false statements, several inaccurate claims and many insinuations. I will refute each of them since you purport them to be “facts.” In fact, they are not. You claim, “Burgmaier is only the low bid on hauling - trash collection as you put it - with NO disposal costs included. Advanced Disposals bid included trash collection AND disposal - making it the low bid.” False. Fact: Burgmeier bid $749,616.00 per year for three years for hauling with no increases from one year to the next. Advanced bid $1,064,400.00 for the first year, with an increase every year of the contract for hauling. Furthermore, Advanced charges a gasoline surcharge. Burgmeier does not. You also suggest that the disposal costs make a difference. They do. Burgmeier will use the County landfill in Frostburg at a tonage fee of $34.50. Advanced owns their own landfill and proposed a charge of $45.00. Therefore, in both areas – hauling and disposal – Advanced is higher. That’s a fact. You stated, “as a public official, it is extremely uprofessional to make disparraging remarks about any specific company - especially before the bids are awarded.” Fact: I don’t appreciate poor service when citizens are paying for the service. I have made several comments regarding the poor service provided by Advanced, particularly over the past year. I even did so online today after my own garbage was missed again. I’ve had trash collection missed twice in one week before. I’ve seen my entire block have only one side of the street picked up on numerous times. And, my claims are substantiated by Mr. Sisler’s personal observation today. The Advanced service took a nose dive. And while I don’t blame particular individuals, the facts are the facts. I can cite to you dozens of phone calls, emails, messages, and letters that I have received from outraged and frustrated citizens. Call me unprofessional for standing up for citizens, but when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call it a duck. And in this case, I call the service provided by Advanced to be fair to poor. As recently as Tuesday night, one of the management officials from the company even acknowledged significant challenges in the past year. Guilty as charged; Advanced provided city residents with a spotty service at best. You make the unsubstantiated accusation, “I am outraged by your clear bias and wonder if Burgmaier is helping to fund your election campaign.” Nonsense! That’s an emotional response that has no merit whatsoever. See for yourself when my campaign financial report is posted. Conspiracy theories are not necessary when the facts prove you to be wrong. You stated, “FACT - with all factors included hauling, disposal, and curbside recycling - which Advanced disposal is now offering, the low bid is ADVANCED DISPOSAL. “ Incorrect, again. See above. See the bid numbers on the website at ci.cumberland.md.us/new_site/app/webroot/files/Garbage%20Bids%202014.pdf Just because you continue to repeat this statement doesn’t make it any more accurate. You note, “FACT - Advanced Disposal employees are part of the local union, Burgmaiers are NOT.” You’re right. Advanced has Teamsters union members. In fact, there are 20 of them, of which 13 live in Cumberland. But you leave out the fact that I have multiple times publicly encouraged whomever that gets the contract, to consider hiring these employees – at least the ones who have shown dedication and quality work. Burgmeier will determine unionization, but I personally appreciate the importance of a union. You asset, “You want to take union jobs away? You are openly NOT supporting a union site.” False, again. I stood with the Teamsters a year ago at the milk strike. I bought them drinks and food and multiple times joined them and stood with them. You’re again making false statements and insinuating things that have no merit. You repeat yourself by claiming, “you are telling half-truths about the low bid by masking the hauling with the term trash collection. Is Burgmaiers dumping all of the garbage for free? Without a disposal bid, how can you tell the residents what their new cost is?” You can stop repeating this line. The numbers don’t lie. Burgmeier plans to use the County landfill, rather than paying Advanced to use theirs and hauling city trash to Altoona. That’s why there is a bid for a landfill separate from Burgmeier – Advanced owns their own, whereas Burgmeier will be disposing of the trash at the Mt. View site in Frostburg. I’m stating facts based upon numbers. You’re just not telling the truth. Again, see for yourselt at ci.cumberland.md.us/new_site/app/webroot/files/Garbage%20Bids%202014.pdf You assert, “Whatever your political agenda is - you have lost my vote.” Thank you for engaging in the democratic process. My “agenda” is to do right by the citizens of Cumberland and in this case it means accepting the low bid that on the surface, for hauling alone, costs $250,000.00 less. My “agenda” is to give Cumberland citizens the biggest bang for their buck. That’s what I’m doing. You stated, “You hope a new company will keep the union employees? Can you promise that? Can you promise that they will receive the same benefits they receive currently? Your statements are outrageous and irresponsible - especially for a public official.” Guilty as charged. I do hope that the quality, dedicated employees get hired with Burgmeier. I don’t oversee their hiring and I don’t make ridiculous assertions as you have. Call me outrageous for looking out for the citizens who elected me, but that’s what I promise to continue to do. You make the statement, “When taxes go up with disposal cost added Im certain the the residents will appreciate your omissions.” Again, you have overlooked the costs and also overlooked the annual increase in cost proposed by Advanced. Furthermore, this Council and I have made it a priority to make trash, water, and sewer funds pay for themselves, therefore there will be NO tax rate increase as a result of the trash collection contract. You are making far-fetched remarks rooted in no facts whatsoever. You state, “As a single mother, and resident of Cumberland, I cannot afford to pay MORE for your bias.” My “bias” is toward the process of approving the low bid, nothing more, nothing less. As for paying more, I don’t know what you’re talking about. The numbers are clear and Burgmeier is less of a cost. You state, “The bid specifically shows that Burgmaiers chose NO BID on any disposal - and shows instead that WM bid the disposal. If you add the disposal to the hauling - THAT is the bid - and IT IS NOT LOW BID.” I’m getting exhausted from telling you the same thing. Add it up again. The details are online for you to see and as you accurately noted, Burgmeier intends to use the Frostburg landfill. Both the hauling cost and the disposal cost from Burgmeier/Mt. View are less than the Advanced cost. It’s simple math. Please, for your own sake, add them up. In fact, don’t add them up. The numbers are less in each category so the result is obvious. You asked, “Do you think the residents are stupid or cannot add?” No. But I’m very concerned about your mathematical skills. You state, “Maybe you think that people will just take your word for it - since you are the mayor. Well - CLEARLY THEY SHOULDNT SINCE YOU ARE NOT BEING STRAIGHT FORWARD AND TRUTHFUL ABOUT THE BID. Very sneaky trash collection. ADVANCED DISPOSAL IS LOW BID - for hauling/disposal/recycling.” With all due respect, and for your own good, I recommend that you remove your comments that demonstrate your inability to add the numbers together, and stop repeating this mantra. It does not help your argument. $749,616 is a lower number than $1,064,400. $34.50 is a lower number than $45.00. No matter how you add those together, Burgmeier is cheaper. Please don’t try to confuse people with your statements. In another post to my Facebook, you state, “our taxes keep getting higher and higher.” False. Fact: In my term as Mayor, your city tax rate has not gone up at all. I have stood firm in my position that we not raise taxes, but that trash, water and sewer pay for themselves. You continued, “and we have NO now the City of Cumberland wants to force a new company that is NOT LOW BID???” See above. I have disproven this claim that you have made no less than four times with factual numbers. You responded to another post, “And, Marc Nelson, the bids have bid posted for the public view since the day after they were submitted. Im not sure why Grim keeps saying he is working on it. They are posted.” Yes, the bid results are posted, but there are some details that do not show on the grid that are relevant, including that Advanced charges a gasoline surcharge on top of their bid. That data is relevant and is not posted at this point. In a third post today, you claim, “What I posted is fact. “ Actually, it’s not. It’s at best inaccurate. But I fear that in reality it is either an intentional distortion or you are not reading the chart correctly. You state, “Anybody wishing to see the bid can simply pull up the bid documents. I personally did that, THE DAY AFTER THE BIDS WERE IN.” True. I have posted the link above. I encourage interested individuals to look at the numbers. They will dispell your statements. You claim, “It is easy to mislead the taxpayers, easy (and quite convenient) to post a service complaint AFTER my factual post was put up.” Really? My trash was skipped again today. Ironic. Mr. Sisler on another post corroborates that the trash in my neighborhood was skipped. This isn’t anything new. I have letters and emails from residents stating the same. And in your first post, you chastised me for pointing out that the service has declined significantly. Now, you act shocked that it’s happened again. Your posts have lacked in “factual” data and that should be clear to all who see the real numbers. There’s no need for them to be interpreted by you or I. They are what they are and they are cheaper for Burgmeier than Advanced. You voiced, “Everybody is busy,but assumming you do not place your own value above the other residents, you should make time.” My “job responsibilities” at City Hall don’t include anywhere in them, responding to Facebook messages within a certain amount of time. I responded to you promptly and noted that I would get you a detailed response, but that was not sufficient. I’m not going to jump into an hourly account of my day or the four jobs that I do, but I assure you, I’m busy. This morning, I was fulfilling duties by serving as a judge at an event at Canal Place, supporting a non-profit fundraiser. I won’t apologize for that. You tell a tall tale again when you suggest, “Just like we will have to take our tax increases without a choice.” I’m being really kind here. I’m trying not to call your statements outright lies, but the more you post, the more difficult it is. I have taken the pledge not to raise city tax rates. I have not done so at any time while in office as your Mayor. I will not do so in FY’15. If you are paying more in taxes, they may be due to your assessment having increased. You really need to understand this process better. If you would like to sit down with me, despite all of this nonsense you have posted, I am willing to do so. You claim, “I was not asking for a detailed explanation. Maybe a simple answer is best for simple question that THE TAXPAYERS have a right to know.” Actually, you chastised me for not responding to you, then claimed that you don’t want details. That’s not consistent. Also, this is not a “simple question” when in fact you have posted at least a dozen questions and you don’t seem to understand what you’re posting about. You ask, “Who has the low bid for trash collection plus disposal plus recycling?” Burgmeier. See for yourself at ci.cumberland.md.us/new_site/app/webroot/files/Garbage%20Bids%202014.pdf You asked, “Further, over the next three contract years who is the low bid? Please, clear this up for me.” I have cleared it up, but you don’t want to accept it. Burgmeier is the answer you are looking for. You ask, “Are you saying that you have additional information that is not posted with the bids?” I didn’t say that, but in fact, yes. Advanced charges a gasoline surcharge that Burgmeier does not charge. Also, Burgmeier is offering recycling collection on a weekly basis. Advanced was offering it on a less frequent basis. Those details are not reflected on the chart. Also not reflected on the chart are the stellar references received for Burgmeier. Neither are the poor performances of Advanced in Cumberland over the past year on the chart. Those additional details matter, but really only make a better case for Burgmeier. You state, “Im breathless with anticipation.” That’s unnecessary. The details have been online for you to view, as you have pointed out, and they answer your questions quite clearly. You state, “Although, given some of the previous misleading and unprofessional postings, please forgive me for wanting verification from a factual and verifiable source as social media commentary is not fact.” Your posts are riddled with emotional reaction rather than fact, but you mask it by distorting reality and calling it “fact.” Please, don’t just take my word. Look at the details on the website. The facts are quite clear. You finish with, “As you have shown, people can post anything, truth is not a requirement.” Mirror? I don’t make it a point to respond to citizen messages in this manner. It comes across as rude, aloof and disrespectful. That’s not the intention. But, a posting with so much false information passed on as fact just can’t stand. I don’t know any other way to clear up every issue, but to dissect the message. Had I simply removed the falsehoods, I would have had to delete the message and I don’t make it a point of doing that. But, I also won’t stand by and allow somebody to use my venue to shout nonsense with the credibility of being at my venue. Again, I am willing to sit down with you to discuss any part of this issue or the tax issue, Ms. Starr. But, I won’t tolerate a repeat performance of twisting information and weaving a whole new alternative reality. Please let me know how I might be able to help you understand this issue or any other, when you feel the need. I’m extremely accessible.
Posted on: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 21:11:42 +0000
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