Like MENSA, Only Thicker

Spokane Waste Alliance

Mr. Al French,
Spokane County Board of Commissioners.

Dear Mr. French,

Thank you, for your effort in resolving long-standing inequities involving our Spokane Regional Solid Waste System.

There are two specific issues that should be fully vetted before moving forward with the proposed regional solid waste management alliance.

1.  Independent Accounting.

All parties to this alliance will benefit from independently prepared accounting and financial reporting data.  The current system allows a single entity to bill itself for the cost of its own services as well as provide the accounting documentation representing such transactions.  This is before being allowed to assess an additional 20% utility tax on captive rate payers within the city limits.

Alliance members should demand that accounting and financial reporting functions be separated from the service provider, particularly one that benefits individually from escalating operational costs.

2. Flow Control.

No jurisdiction should be required to surrender flow control as a condition of membership in this alliance.  Each jurisdiction automatically retains the option to enter into specific contractual agreements pertaining to monopoly power.

Demanding the immediate surrender of this governmental authority is a threat to the sovereign interests of each individual jurisdiction and could ultimately make their future objections irrelevant.

Without the power to decide for their constituents, the individual governments and their rate payers will only be exchanging one master for another.  This will most likely lead to the loss of any opportunity to benefit from the massive free cash flow that exists within the current system as well as the ability to advance many environmental and economic initiatives at their own local level.

Note:  On the matter of individual representation within the alliance, I am a strong proponent of allowing the jurisdictions to choose their own representation criteria.  They are better suited to select individuals that will act in the best interest of their community and the individual ratepayers.

The alliance agreement can determine which matters require legislative authority and approval thereby ensuring critical decisions have proper voter representation and recourse.


Mike Noder
Citizen of Spokane


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