At the last Richmond Hill council meeting, when discussing Councillor Carmine Perrelli's member motion to eliminate the blue bin exchange fee, why was Acting Mayor Joe DiPaola concerned about "anyone that currently owes the city for blue bins" and "reimbursing rich corporate interests"? Why was there a closed meeting scheduled in relation to the blue bin exchange event? Why did Councillor Perrelli vote against his own blue bin motion...what are we missing?
During the discussion Acting Mayor DiPaola questioned staff asking if
"anyone currently owes the city for blue bins" (41:32) and then when he said "in putting on the Envirofest event" (Perrelli's event) Perrelli cut off DiPaola stating "he's speaking now about uncharted waters he's about to enter and violate the report that's before us in camera today" (42:03).
Councillor David West brought forth an amendment to the motion making the elimination of the fee effective June 22, 2021 as Staff mentioned that there were no bin exchange between January 1, 2021 and June 21, 2021 because of the pandemic. Also added was a limit of 2 bin exchange fee refunds per household.
After much discussion Perrelli voted against the amended motion stating "I don't understand why they've picked the date of June 22nd, I don't know why you've limited it to two bins"(64:39).
So what does this all mean? Was DiPaola indicating that someone owes the City money for blue bins bought for the blue bin exchange event? Is that what the report was about that was coming forward to the in camera session as mentioned by Perrelli?
If someone does owe were they hoping to be reimbursed via the bin exchange fee refund for the 6000 bins exchanged at the event?
If so the approved amended motion that changed the refund date to June 22nd and limiting it to 2 bins per household should dash any hopes of that.
Suffice it to say there seems to be more about eliminating the bin exchange fee than meets the eye. It seems to be less about eliminating a fee for Richmond Hill residents and more about the refunding of exchange fees.
Why would Perrelli be upset with the refund date changing to June 22nd if residents didn't exchange any bins until after that date?
A $14 refund for 2 bins doesn't seem worth it so why offer it unless there was something else at play?
According to staff the refunding the $7 for the 1000 bins that were exchanged in the last 3 months will far exceed the cost of the bins. They estimate about a hundred hours worth of staff time to do the refunds. Does not seem like a sound financial decision for this council to make.