- Crowds gathered outside of the Parma, OH City Hall this week to protest various proposals being put forth by the city, including a $12 monthly garbage fee, which residents are calling "unfair." Many protesters brought signs that read "change Parma" or "no new tax."
- More than 50 city residents attended Tuesday's City Council meeting, most of whom opposed the proposed fee. One resident said that the money could instead be used for groceries or prescriptions. However, Mayor Tim DeGeeter said without the fee, the city would cut police and fire forces.
- Former Councilwoman Mary Galinas — who is challenging Mayor DeGeeter as a write-in candidate in November's elections — said the mayor had promised two years ago that there would not be a fee on garbage collection. "He changed his mind or he lied," she said to Cleaveland.com. "A lot of people can't afford it, and it's wrong."
Strong opposition voiced by residents have caused city councils across the nation to trash proposed garbage fees. However, the opposition to Parma's garbage tax puts the city in a very difficult position: to pass the proposal would cause discontent among residents, while cuts in police and fire forces would cause inefficiencies throughout the city. Parma officials may need to come up with a better alternative to the garbage fee in order to keep residents happy and the city running smoothly.
A similar situation is currently causing debates in Chicago, where Alderman George Cardenas suggested a penny-per-ounce tax increase on soda and other sugary drinks as an alternative to a proposed month garbage collection fee. Both proposals would generate about $134 million annually to help balance Chicago's budget. However, not everyone is seeing eye-to-eye with an agreement.