Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Desperately Seeking Susan UPDATED

What would we do without the Public Information Officer? Susan Morgans sent out a memorandum to Keith McGill and shared her plans to make us feel good about solid waste and PAYT, now called SMART. Mt. Lebanon can count on Susan to put a positive spin on everything, including garbage.

PIO PAYT Memorandum

Update January 3, 2017 8:10 PM I thought it would be appropriate to include this portion of last week's Commissioners' Administrative Report from Keith McGill.

This isn't the first time there have been delivery issues with the print edition of mtl Magazine. See Update on mtl Magazine delivery


Anonymous said...

Two obvious points to be taken:

#1 Susan Morgans wants/supports PAYT

#2 She will use her powers and the powers of the PIO to ram it down our throats

Nick M.

E. T. Gillen said...

Nick, I see it as job security. She sees this as an opportunity and is telling McGill that we NEED Susan's expertise to make it work.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely correct, Nick.
My first question is what the hell is Mirgans doing proposing strategy which supports a change like PAYT.
She a public information officer, not a commissioner.
Reading through her email it's oblivious that she doesn't think much of us residents and our ability to understand something like recycling.
This disdain for the public that pays here salary comes through time after time.
You can be sure "her" experts will all be proponents of PAYT.
I'd love to her to explain the logic of another GREEN PAYT program... the mandated $3 used tire disposal program and why the municipality chose to buy back 20,000 to 40,000 of those tires we properly disposed of and pay to dump them on a sports field.

This woman has no interest in hearing from the public, she wants to tell us what to do.

I for one am sick of hearing from her.

Anonymous said...

Answer this Ms. Morgans, why should we pay to recycle when we can get paid for recycling?

"Can You Make Money from Recycling Paper?
Yes and no! Let me explain…

Recycled paper sells for anything from 50 to 75 dollars per ton, depending on the type of paper. So, for an average household, I don’t think it will be worth it to recycle paper for money, but of course, you can still do it for the sake of the environment."

"There is no dearth of recycling centers for recycling of paper and making some money on the way. On delivering your consignment of paper to your chosen recycling center you are paid cash.

Again, you can expect anywhere from $50 to $75 per ton.

Bottom Line

Of course, paper is recyclable, but do not overlook the fact that it is a very light material. And unlike aluminum which is also light material but can fetch decent money, you will need tons of paper to get a decent return."

So there is $50 to $75/ton we could collectively make on our paper and this article says there's even more money to be made in recycling aluminum.

Why should we pay to throw, we should be getting PAID to throw, Susan.


Anonymous said...

Instead of a "Statistically Valid Survey", why not just put it up for referendum? Oh wait, that means the powers that be would be forced to live with the results, and not bury the survey results that could possibly show that the general public does not want the change.


Anonymous said...

Hey Susan, want us to save the environment? You go first, hypocrite.


"Environmental Damage by the Magazine Industry and Recommendations for Improvement"

"Executive Summary

The magazine industry is a significant contributor to deforestation, dioxin contamination, air pollution (including greenhouse gases) and water pollution. Environmental damage caused by this industry will escalate unless publishers increase their use of recycled-content paper. In its study of the industry, the PAPER Project found:

♦ Magazine production contributes extensively to deforestation. U.S. magazine production uses more than 2.2 million tons of paper per year, and this number is increasing as some sectors of the industry experience tremendous growth. Magazines are printed almost exclusively on papers made from virgin fiber, resulting in more than 35 million trees being cut down each year. Virgin magazine paper production also uses enormous amounts of energy and water, and produces considerably more pollution than ecological paper alternatives.

♦ Less than 5% of magazine paper has any recycled content, and even these recycled content papers generally contain only 10-30% recycled fiber. Almost all magazine papers have been bleached with chlorine or chlorine compounds, which produce extremely toxic dioxin.

♦ The vast majority of magazines are discarded within one year, and few of these are recycled. Approximately 90% of all magazines are discarded within a year of publication, and only about 20% of these are recycled. In 1998, approximately 18,000 magazine titles were published, producing a total of about 12 billion magazines; over 9 billion of these were landfilled or incinerated.

♦ Overproduction compounds the industry’s impact. The magazine industry’s impact on the environment is compounded by systems that reward the industry for overproduction of publications. These inefficiencies are particularly apparent in magazines sold on newsstands, versus those sold by subscription. Inefficiencies begin with the publisher deliberately overproducing magazines to maximize advertising rates and are compounded by distributors over- ordering to ensure that no magazine rack is ever empty. Publishers rarely receive the kind of timely and accurate retail sales information needed to improve efficiency, and they have little economic incentive to reduce print runs, as the marginal cost of each magazine is relatively low (about 91 cents on average)."


Did everybody get that last bulleted point about overproduction. I'll repeat a specific point— "These [overproduction] inefficiencies are particularly apparent in magazines sold on newsstands, versus those sold by subscription."

MTL magazine isn't even sold on newsstands, it goes out to each and every household whether they want it or not. How GREEN is that?

Want us to conserve and be GREEN Ms. Morgans, you go first.
Reduce your overproduction by making the hard copy version of your propaganda rag available by subscription only!

Another thing, I didn't need to spend $3,500 on a trip to NY to learn the above.

Anonymous said...

1:01, I agree put it to referendum, but you can be sure the "Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda" (more commonly known as the Public Information Office) will do everything they can to sway votes for PAYT.

Remember — "Baram asked commissioners to not use the $20,000 in the 2016 budget to “engage the community for the input needed to customize a possible program,” with the hope of spending it in 2017 for educational purposes."

Can you raise $20,000 to educate the public to vote against PAYT?

Anonymous said...

I am sick of her, too.


Anonymous said...

Buddy, wonder if we ran a poll on either to get rid of Morgans or alternatively to get rid of the printed version of the magazine, what results would we get?

E. T. Gillen said...

3:33 PM, I have not had much luck with Blogger's Poll Widget, but I am willing to try it again. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Elaine, you're incredible!
A suggestion is made at 3:33 pm and by 4:48 pm you've got a poll up.
Our paid PIO would probably over several days, need to hire consultants and a freelance designer to do the same thing.

E. T. Gillen said...

That's why I make the big bucks. ;)

Anonymous said...

What if I want to vote that both should be scrapped?

Anonymous said...

Bet you learned being responsive to your readers from all those taxpayer paid trips to the NY Folio show.

E. T. Gillen said...

I don't think I can change it with five people voting already. I will try.

E. T. Gillen said...

Nope. I can't change it. I am getting this message:
You cannot edit this poll because someone has already voted.

Anonymous said...

You can select all three options.

Anonymous said...

Yep, you can select all three options in the poll and they all make sense.

The first, get rid of the hard copy edition. If you want a hard copy get it by Paying As You Read. (see 1:02's comment on magazine waste above)

Second, can Morgan's. She's too expensive and too opinionated to be a fair PIO.

Third, do we really need a full time PIO? Is there so much news and info needing to be distributed that the Almanac, PG, Trib and In Mt. Lebanon magazine can't deliver it?

Anonymous said...

You'll never get rid of the PIO position or magazine; i.e. this is the propaganda arm of the commission that gives it the opportunity to deliver its disinformation directly to every home in Mt. Lebanon. The PIO's job is to create, coordinate, and deliver this disinformation. Control of information and message is critically important to the functioning of this Commission. In addition, the PIO's job is to influence mainstream news and media coverage, i.e. bullying the editor of the Almanac, promising jobs to Post-Gazette reporters, and working closely with pro-hunting columnists like that blowhard John Hayes at the Post-Gazette, who misrepresents himself as an objective news reporter covering Mt. Lebanon. How often have you seen Hayes attend a commission meeting, but all of his articles give the impression that he was there taking notes - how's that work? You have about as much chance getting the Commission to remove the PIO position and magazine as you would have had getting Hitler to fire Joseph Goebbels, the Reich's minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. And talk about a gravy train job that pays big bucks and a generous retirement package. BTW, I don't know of another community that even has a PIO position. Sad to say, but Mt. Lebanon taxpayers will be paying for the PIO's trips to New York City long after retirement.

Anonymous said...

3:07, that's a rather pessimistic view of our local government.
I guess if one thinks that way it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
While calling the PIO office The Ministry of Entertainment and propaganda is apropos (read MTL magazine) this isn't Nazi Germany (I dislike referencing Hitler to prove a point.).

At least, I hope we haven't gotten so cynical that we've let our rights get away from us like that.

We CAN get rid of the PIO and the magazine if we chose too. It'll will though take an organized and determined effort.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone happen to notice that nowhere in Morgan's memorandum on selling PAYT to the community does she mention that it'll be an even swap from the taxes we pay for trash collection to what we'll pay thru Pay As You Throw?

That is, of course it won't be an even swap for each and every household because some will pay more and some less depending on how much trash they throw out.

But, right now WE ALL PAY SOME SET AMOUNT for municipal garbage collection. If Morgans wanted to really sell this switch honestly, she'd tell us what we now pay individually on a monthly basis for trash pick up and whether we'll see that amount deducted from our tax bills.

Then she should give an example of how much trash we can throw out under PAYT and pay the same as the old system.

Given those numbers, I'll bet people will be shocked at what PAYT is going to cost and I also believe the municipality has no intention of reducing our taxes by the amount we pay now for trash pick up.

Don't buy that "we'll be saving the environment" bullshit.

Remember how the school board sold everybody on the new HS because they'd be reducing their energy footprint and saving the environment?

Bought it didn't you?

Too bad they're throwing out that green agenda and all those energy savings by now air conditioning old energy-inefficient school buildings.

E. T. Gillen said...

12:18 PM, in reality, we all pay different amounts for municipal garbage collection. It is based on our property taxes. Larger properties pay more in property taxes (theoretically) and newcomers pay more in property taxes. Renters pay through their rent, I'm guessing. So a 2 or 3 bedroom starter home in Mt. Lebanon would pay much less than the properties in Virginia Manor. We want to make it fair for those small families living in mansions, right?

Anonymous said...

There's the conundrum, Elaine.
We all pay some amount now to the municipality to have our trash collected.
Now they are proposing that in the new PAYT system, we'll each pay individually to dispose of our garbage.
But what reduction will we get in our taxes from the cancellation of the old system?
Or will the municipality be getting a sneaky increase in revenue since we'll be individually paying for trash collection.

Anonymous said...

How much money comes out of the municipal budget for trash collection? Is it 2%, 5%, 10% or more?

So cut everyones' tax bill by whatever that percentage is.

If you pay $3,500 in property tax now and garbage collection takes 10% of the budget, you get a cut of $350 when PAYT starts.
If you pay $5,000 in property taxes now you'd get a $500 tax cut.

Seems about the only fair way to do it.

BUT, if we're going to go to a PAYT garbage collection system we should demand a PAYD (Pay As You Drain) storm water fee as well where your bill is determined by the square footage of your property.

Anonymous said...

Who measures the trash to set the bill? Republic? They drove through my neighborhood the other day and forgot to get the trash. Not feeling the confidence.

Anonymous said...

It's tantamount to paying Comcast for regular cable service, but then suddenly they announce that a NEW a la carte channel pricing system will go into effect, where you only pay for what channels you select- but with MTL logic, you'd keep paying what you originally paid for all channels IN ADDITION TO the new channels, which you already were paying for. It's just another example of the bizzaro money-grubbing groupthink that goes on at the Municipal Building.

- Larry the Cable Guy

Anonymous said...

Not only that 11:34, someone is going to have to sell you the tags, bags or whatever for your overage above the minimum and then issue fines or something if you don't get them. All of which will expand the municipal payroll.
Soon we'll need a PTO, (Public Trash Officer) to monitor it all!