Sequence of Events Regarding LAGN's Position on the Solid Refuse and Recycle Ordinance

Memorandum to Mayor of City of Niagara Falls and Council Members City of Niagara Falls

We wanted to establish a time line to keep our representatives and the citizens of Niagara Falls informed and to make clear the position taken by the LAGN with regards to the Solid Refuse and Recycle Ordinance of 2014. What follows is an approximate time line of events and a series of prepared statements delivered to the Mayor's office, the local media, and at the public hearing held by the City Council on July 14, 2014

End of May

Sometime toward the end of May, the LAGN received a call from City Administrator, Donna Owens. The LAGN has, for years now, been working towards opening up meaningful lines of communication with the Administration so that we might work together on a number of public policy issues dealing with neighborhood concerns, health an safety, and property values.

This call left us hopeful as we were told that Ms. Owens wanted to sit down with the landlords and talk about the recycling program. We thought this a great opportunity to be part of the solution as it would have a major behavioral and economic impact on landlords and our residents.

 June 3 - The Meeting With the Landlords Is Set 

There wasn't much time between the meeting date and when we received the call but we managed to assemble some 30 landlords. What took place that evening took everyone by complete surprise. This was not a meeting to discuss solutions. This was a meeting to be told how it was going to be. Like it or not, this program was going to start on August 1, 2014. What really shocked those in attendance was the apparent lack of familiarity Donna Ownens had with her own program.

It felt like 3 gut punches. 1. This wasn't a meeting to discuss solutions. That ship had sailed. 2. This was a program that was on it's way. The city had already spent the money on totes. 3. There were going to be new expenses for landlords and we were going to be held responsible for the behavior of our residents.

It was at this meeting that one of our members who was familiar with city operations in general stated that this would require a public hearing. It was at this time that that fact was acknowledged and we received copies of the new ordinance.

June 5 - The Business Owners of NF Have Their Meeting

Two days later a meeting for local business people had their meeting with Ms. Ownens. This meeting did not go well at all. And why should it have? A service that had been free for decades had now become a new line item on the P&L.

July 10, 2014 - Memo To The Mayor

See this link to read the full memo sent to Mayor Dyster.

This is a link to the a copy of the speeches made in Council in July 2014