Of three City Council segments Monday, the joint session with PMUA officials is likely to be the show-stealer.
A special meeting will take place at 7 p.m. for the purpose of considering amendments to the CY 2016 Municipal Operating Budget. The budget as prepared by the administration was introduced in March, after which it became the governing body's budget. The Citizens' Budget Advisory and council members met to review it in three sessions this month, with a CBAC report presented last Wednesday. Amendments proposed Monday will be published and on Thursday the council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and possibly adopt the budget.
The agenda-fixing session at 7:30 p.m. Monday includes the joint session with PMUA officials. The authority began in 1995 and manages sewer and solid waste activities for the city, but has been controversial since its inception. Most recently, the CBAC recommended this week that the city Public Works Division should take over PMUA tasks.
In other years, a citizen activist group called Dump PMUA advocated "opting out" of the authority's trash collection by hiring private carters and a study commissioned by the council produced options including dissolution. However, the authority has finally reached its longtime goal of bringing in outside revenue by providing services to other municipalities and has not recently increased its rates to city residents.
Still, residents complain rates are too high compared to other authorities, while PMUA officials say the authority is unique for providing both solid waste and sewer services and cannot be compared to other authorities. Alan Goldstein, the most vocal objector to PMUA practices, sent the governing body nine questions for discussion at the joint meeting. However, PMUA officials had asked for council questions in advance and may not entertain a broader discussion.
The rest of the agenda-fixing agenda is relatively tame, though one ordinance up for final passage has drawn many speakers at prior meetings to urge its support. The ordinance tightens up guidelines for tethering animals outside, enhancing prior legislation that drew crowds of animal welfare activists in 2015.