Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blowing Up Boxes?

Well, they tried. A bill sponsored by the Governator and backed by Republicans would have eliminated the state's Integrated Waste Management Board and spread its duties out among other agencies. Long thought of as a safe hideaway for former politicians and their friends, It seemed to me most Californians would have liked to see it gotten rid of.

But that was not to be. The Democrats, who have controlled the state legislature for decades, opposed the bill and none voted for it. They won, the people of the state lost.

I'll admit to being very disappointed in many of the positions the Governator has taken in the past, but he has tried to "blow up the boxes", at least some of them. He just didn't realize the power of the self- serving machine that dominates this state and is likely to continue to dominate the state for the foreseeable future.


At 7:59 AM, Blogger AJ said...

I worked at CIWMB for a short while (I loved Humboldt too much and had to return). I was/am impressed with the many services provided to the state, both to businesses and individuals. (I managed a hotline.) I wouldn't remotely wish upon California to have CIWMB's many services chopped up and spread around other state agencies.

If the appointed board members are the issue, change how the leadership is formed. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"I wouldn't remotely wish upon California to have CIWMB's many services chopped up and spread around other state agencies.".

I'd suggest we can't afford not to.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger AJ said...

That would be a loss for California. To have so many experts under one roof allows amazing things to happen. Chop it up and many of the services would become subpar and eventually dissolved. Maybe that's your agenda though.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Maybe. I'd be interesting in hearing from you just what you think they do that's so important.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger AJ said...

I'd be interested in hearing from you why you're quick to break up an organization you don't know much about.

I'm a fiscal conservative, but the only financial issue I oversimplify is voting 'no' on all bond measures. Everything else tends to be quite a bit more complicated.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger AJ said...

Ahh, see, it doesn't matter what I think is important. I was beating around the bush continuing your financial argument. Your original issue was its six board members. Now it's whether anything CIWMB does has any worth at all.

My guess is your root issue is a philosophical one, opposing state spending on reducing the footprint each of us makes on California with regard to waste. It doesn't matter what services I raise in defense of CIWMB because you don't support CIWMB's mission, its very purpose for being. If not, I don't know how you could talk as you do without throwing CIWMB some credit for something it does to your favor.

Money is just your pretext for dissolving the organization.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Not ignoring you. Just busy with other things and other blogs. Back in the morning.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"...you don't support CIWMB's mission, its very purpose for being.".

Not sure about that but I don't know that it needs 450 employees to "manage" recycling. I was just reading the Democrats counter- proposed getting rid of the Department of Conservation, instead. Assuming they were serious, I might be willing to make the trade.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

For what services in particular do we need a state board for? Services such as taxing electronics sales to fund e-waste recycling programs while providing no incentive for implementing e-waste recycling program cost control?

There is more to this than just some Wes Chesbros getting paid $132 gs to attend a weekly meeting. It is about a government agency whose claim to fame is taxing the hell out of one our largest money-making industries. It wasn't a CRT tax that made electronics companies stop producing CRT monitors, it was that CRT monitors suck. Also, it was not a tax on lead-laden motherboards that made computer companies stop using lead, it was consumer pressure.

If we can remember the bankrupt Arcata curbside recycling of the 90s and acknowledge the soon-to-be bankrupt Arcata recycling program of today, we can see that government agencies are typically not so good at managing this type of thing. Usually, well-intentioned government programs get hustled by ill-intentioned businesses. The fact that we have a top-level state agency managing our "carbon footprint" should be scary, not reassuring.

There is demand for e-waste recycling already. Individual companies should be responsible for providing this service and setting appropriate fees. Instead, consumers are charged for this service when they buy electronics for the luxury of getting to take advantage of subsidized "free" e-waste recycling days in mile-long lines.

Myself, I'd rather pay the $10 now to get rid of the monitor now than the $30 now to wait in line later... or the $50 or whatever they hiked the tax to this year. I'm sorry, hiked the "fee."


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