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Judge Finds Gwinnett's Trash Plan Constitutional

A Superior Court judge ruled against a Loganville couple who sued Gwinnett County, claiming the current trash plan and method of collecting payment was unconstitutional.

A superior court judge has found the fees for solid waste and stormwater services issued by Gwinnett County are legal and constitutional, according to Gwinnett County officials.

In a press release, officials said Wednesday that Superior Court Judge Michael Clark found in favor of the county, giving his findings in a court order on June 9. Clark’s ruling was in reply to a lawsuit filed by Verlin and Milagros Gilliam of Loganville.

“He said the County has the authority to contract with private companies to provide those services, to charge the fees on the property tax bill and to collect the fees as far in advance as is reasonably necessary,” officials said in the release.

The Gilliams filed the lawsuit against Gwinnett County and the five private residential haulers awarded contracts by the county. In the suit, they claimed it was illegal to require all unincorporated residents to have trash service and to be billed in advance for those services on their property taxes. In the Gilliam’s case, the mortgage company paid the fees from an escrow account set up with their mortgage.

The case went to the Superior Court in September 2010. Officials said Clark’s findings in favor of the county put to rest a number of issues related to the new solid waste plan that went into effect a year ago. A copy of the court documents can be found in images.

Attempts to reach the Gilliams Wednesday evening were unsuccessful.

STEVE RAMEY June 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM
A wrong should never be put to rest! A seasoned citizen that might be a bit forgetful could lose their home because of unpaid garbage bills. Does that sound right to any sound mind out there? Attach it to the water bill so that at least the home is not sold on the courthouse steps to some crony of an office holder or real estate vulture. I attended 4 of the Beaudreau "Blue Ribbon" garbage meetings around the county and it was obvious that 95+% of the people were against it. However the unscrupulous garbage plan was still foisted onto the citizens. The purpose was to clean up Gwinnett; I don't see any difference in the environment since the 18 months in advance payment was forcibly taken from us. My opinion is the real story was that Gwinnett needed cash desperately and found a way to take it from our pockets by means of our mortgage company. Either pay your garbage or lose your home, it's that simple. It tells you a lot about the commissioners at that time. If I were you, I don't think I would vote for them again.
Ed Varn June 23, 2011 at 01:32 PM
But, but......Komissar Beaudreau just recently said the plan was a "great, great success"!! Haven't you noticed all the tires and other trash dumped along the roadsides has decreased significantly? Oh...wait. Never mind.
Kristi Reed (Editor) June 23, 2011 at 02:07 PM
That's right Ed - a "great, great success." For those of you who missed that assessment, you can watch it here: http://dacula.patch.com/articles/beaudreau-defends-airport-stance#video-6534659 The trash plan video is the one to the far left under the main video.
Ed Varn June 23, 2011 at 02:20 PM
With "successes" like this, we sure as heck don't need any "failures". We can't afford it.
Kristi Reed (Editor) June 23, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Patch needs a "like" button....
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2011 at 03:27 PM
:-)) Big Brother watching out for us.
Jimmy Orr June 23, 2011 at 04:27 PM
The way to address this issue (and others like it) is at the ballot box in. How? Question those who would represent you (us) in local, state, and Federal government. Ask them if they are for LESS government, LOWER taxes, and BELIEVE in our market driven system of FREE enterprise. If they cannot, will not, or hem haw, give'em the boot at the ballot box. Folks, it behooves us to get people to get up off of their behinds (does this pass muster, Kristi?) and go to the polls and VOTE! An excellent example of APATHY right here in Gwinnett County was the 5% turnout to elect a candidate for the highest position in Gwinnett County government. FYI, I am proud to call Steve Ramey "friend." Steve is a USMC Vietnam War vet. If "this here" old Army grunt should ever have to go to war, I want "that there" USMC grunt on my right flank. Another thing to remember is that it has not been so long ago that Georgia was a Blue state. Ask yourself the question, "How did all those Democrats all of a sudden become conservative Republicans? If those representing us with an "R" by their name are not for LESS government, LOWER taxes, and our market driven system of FREE enterprise, then they must be RINO's. Republicans In Name Only.
Ed Varn June 23, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Jimmy, you are, of course, correct. But we as voters have short memories; already there is a general acceptance of the trash program and it won't be a factor come the next election. You watch--the sheep will look for a "D" or an "R" and wont' even know what they're voting for....the few who bother voting, that is.
Jimmy Orr June 23, 2011 at 06:57 PM
DaculaWeather, as us folks out here in Harbins would say, "Big Bubba is watching out for us." :-)

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