|Charley Walker suddenly waffled. Was it because he had an epiphany or is he holding out for something sweet (for him)?
A cherry on top of the crazy sundae.
The Niagara Falls Council tabled action Monday night on the Dyster Administration’s new refuse and recycling plan, meaning there will be no enforcement of the controversial new regulations until September when the council reconvenes, unless there is a special meeting which can be called by Council Chairman Charles Walker .
What a mess.
The proposed Dyster disposal plan is wildly unpopular and confusing.
Last week a public hearing was held where a number of residents expressed concerns about the new ordinance and the Landlord’s Association of Greater Niagara asked the council to delay implementing the ordinance for two months. It was the second week in a row that lawmakers heard from residents upset about the new regulations.
The ordinance had been scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 4. The new ordinance provides 64-gallon garbage totes and 96-gallon recyclable totes, the reverse of what most municipalities use, as the administration of Mayor Paul Dyster has designed a plan to force people into higher recycling rates.
What families can fit in a single 64 gallon tote is all they will to be able to dispose of weekly if the ordinance passes.
The delay means there will be no enforcement of the new ordinance and, according to city hall sources, the city will have to pay more for garbage disposal for the time being as it pays by the ton, and residents are likely to load up their trash containers over at least the next month before the likely implementation of the smaller garbage totes in the new plan.
Behind the scenes, Chairman Walker, for the last three months an ardent supporter of the harsh, new Dyster garbage plan, suddenly waffled and asked for his name to be taken off the resolution.
This of course was not made public.
With Councilmembers Bob Anderson and Glenn Choolokian against the garbage ordinance, and Council members Andrew Touma and Kristen Grandinetti in favor, Walker removed his name just minutes before the vote was scheduled to be taken.
Without Walker's vote, the council elected to table the measure.
What caused the change? Was Walker succumbing to mounting pressure from angry residents incensed at the harsh plan, or was he sending Dyster a message: He wants something or was promised something that hasn’t been delivered? He would not support Dyster’s garbage until he got what he wanted.
Consider: Walker has been marching in one direction for three months and then suddenly he does an about-face.
During the same council meeting, Walker said he would not accept a $1.5 million check from Dick Soluri of One Niagara because, as he said, he does not like surprises like the one that supposedly came when One Niagara tried to get the tax payment approved by the council so they could pay the taxes.
Walker, himself offered Dyster a surprise on his garbage plan.
In stonewalling One Niagara's attempt to pay the city tax money, Walker gave Dyster a long cherished goal- to injure One Niagara's plans.
But Walker deciding not to vote for the Dyster’s garbage plan, and completely reversing his position, took one away from the mayor he bargain and sells out for.
Did people yell at Walker, did powerful people suggest they would drive him out of office if he passed this insane garbage plan?
Either Charley's "ass" is in the ringer, or he wants something from Dyster.
Walker never does anything in the name of good government.
The answer to the question will be seen when and if Walker calls a special council meeting to vote on the garbage plan while the council is in recess during August.
If he calls a meeting before September, then the fix is in.
This garbage ordinance is his last chance to squeeze Dyster out of something. He was on record saying, “yes the garbage plan has bumps and kinks but we will learn as we go and work it all out.”
Meantime, will good government prevail? Is there a chance that this foolish garbage plan will die and the city will be left with $2 million worth of useless totes?
Not likely. Walker will likely sell his vote for something. It will be a lot less than $2 million.
Meantime people can use their new totes or not, without any need to recycle or adhere to using the small garbage totes alone for refuse.
People will still be able to throw out garbage as they have been doing for years-- in bags, cans or boxes.
While it is good that the city residents got a temporary reprieve from what may be the harshest garbage plan in the nation, the way it has been handled shows a city in chaos and chief among the confused is Mayor Dyster.
At the end of the day, no one knows what Walker is doing or will do but we all know he is doing something. And it ain't good government.
Meantime, Walker and Dyster got the whole city jacked up about this wild and insane ordinance. Now it is on hold and is likely going to be back on the table, once Walker gets whatever he is looking for.
In the meantime the city has a near nervous breakdown.
It is a horrible way to treat constituents.
We have come to expect that with the Dyster administration.
When you think you've seen it all, it takes another ugly turn and they place a cherry on top of the crazy sundae. And one or both eat it.
Multiple calls to Charles Walker by the Niagara Falls Reporter were not answered or returned.