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Don't be penny wise and pound foolish-Support the citizen landfill committee
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Dear Editor,
Value perspective: The potential revenue of a commercially operated regional waste management model on our current landfill is, over the course of the next several decades, in the realm of 100's - let me repeat - 100's of millions of dollars, which is why the fledgling Green Hill P3 is so doggedly determined to be that operator. They are working behind the scenes on community opinion and perhaps plan to hire sitting officials that help them achieve this, it is so large a prize - it benefits them greatly at the county's expense. Even operated, as it ought, at much lesser volumes and for the county's benefit, the value over the same period is in the 10's of millions of dollars for the citizens of this county.

Now, in order to get to the best model for all of Newton County and all of its citizens, you rightfully appointed a well chosen citizens panel to study options and make recommendations for our best future regarding waste management operations. Well done!!

This panel, in order to have a grounded understanding with which to consider various options in this complex matter, naturally first needs to get up to speed on understanding where things stand now and how that come about, as anyone with common sense knows. The plainly obvious choice to achieve this in the most effective, direct and reliable manner is to hear from and have the opportunity for Q&A with the firm (Smith-Gardner) that has handled engineering for our landfill for the past many years - they have and can explain all the answers to understanding the current situation and its implications for future decisions - an independent assessment of our point A.

To help the process of getting to our best point B, this dedicated panel has requested from the BOC that appointed them, a microscopic fraction (a hundredth or so of one percent) of the potential value involved, to bring Smith-Gardner in for consultation.

At the 5/19/15 BOC meeting, this request was brought up and shot down for apparently two reasons:

1) The cost allocation was completely mischaracterized. It was discussed as if $10,000 was being charged just for travel from North Carolina to Covington. That is an absurd travesty of the actual facts. The reality is that Smith-Gardner has agreed to send two engineers, including John Gardner himself, here plus another three trips by another of their engineers , including all hours spent with the panel and work that may arise to answer their questions for $7500. This works out to a very reasonable cost of $1875 ($7500 / 4) per trip, all inclusive of travel and hours of consulting instead of the ridiculously misrepresented $10,000 for one trip for travel only.

2) Great doubt was expressed by Mr. Maddox, and seconded by Mr. Douglas, whether any understanding of the engineering issues of operating a landfill, which de facto are a critical part of legally mandated design, operation and environmental compliance, is required to make a sound recommendation. Perhaps this fear of truth (alethephobia) explains much about how this board operates. Again, anyone with common sense knows that any recommendation would HAVE to be based in great part on a familiarity with the engineering aspects.

So, unless it is your purpose to completely undermine and sell out the citizens of this county, and specifically the worthy citizens you appointed to this critical panel, the BOC needs to immediately reverse itself and approve the funding to bring in Smith-Gardner and all other reasonable expenditures (remember the perspective of the scale at stake here) requested by the citizens panel in pursuance of their charge. Web based conferences may be used subsequent to these initial, critically needed face to face interactions and access, as follow-up requires.
Don't be penny wise and pound foolish here - approve these minuscule amounts that are deposits on our very best and very large future.

Thank you,
Steve Brown
30 Steele Rd.
Covington, GA 30014