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Date of Issue: May 19, 2005

Code board sends trash to commission

Anna Maria's code enforcement board is trashing the city commission, figuratively speaking.

At its May 9 meeting, the board held a general discussion on the enforcement of the city ordinance on placement and removal of trash cans, recycle bins and yard waste receptacles.

The board's conclusion was to ask the city commission to discuss the ordinance and have Code Enforcement Officer Gerry Rathvon bring the issue to the attention of Mayor SueLynn.

The "issue," according to resident Tim Eiseler, is that a few people in the city continually leave trash cans and bins out for several days, either before or after collection.

According to Eiseler, the problem results from the "weekend residents" who clean their yards on Saturday and Sunday, then leave the yard waste on the curb for a Wednesday collection. In addition, these same part-time residents leave a trash can out for a Monday pickup and the can is still on the curb until Friday evening when they return.

"It's just a small base of offenders," noted Eiseler, who is chairman of the city's environmental education and enhancement committee. "We've tried to educate them, but a few people just don't get the message."

He suggested the commission consider ticketing offenders or ask Waste Management Inc., the city's garbage and yard waste hauling contractor, to consider changing its pickup dates.

"We have a lot of options available," he said.

Rathvon agreed that the problem is limited to just a few offenders. She sent out letters to all city residents last year reminding them of the ordinance on garbage cans and bins and that helped for a short period, but the problem returned.

She estimated that about 15 to 20 people each week leave their trash cans and bins out for several days.

City Attorney Jim Dye told the board it was to hear only cases specifically cited and could not set policy. However, if a particular ordinance was giving the board "difficulty" in deciding a case, it could ask the commission to review the ordinance.

After a general discussion on trash, the board voted 3-1 to ask the commission to take another look at the ordinance.