It was right after the council decided to take the initial steps forward with the automated trash service.  That was when Wellington resident Gary Clements decided he had to act.
To be fair, Clements says he is not against the idea.  He still has questions that he does not feel have been answered satisfactorily.  He feels that this idea is not something to rush forward with.  He says that the idea of his speaking before the council was not viable as if “you’re not on the agenda, you don’t get to speak.”  Therefore, the idea of going forward with a petition was the only course of action he felt he could do.
By law, you have to have the services of an attorney to do a petition, and there Clements says he ran into problems.  No attorney in Wellington would handle his cause due to conflict of interest with their own ties to the city of Wellington.  Clements finally got the go-ahead once he attained the services of an attorney in Sedgwick County.  
He says he is “lucky to have met people  who want to help.” The goal is to get at least 5% of the registered voters to sign the petition, which would mean he needs at least 275 signatures.  He says he would like over 300 just to safely put it over the top.  He would like this issue to be “forced to a public vote.” He wants the “citizens to have a say.”  He believes the “public doesn’t know the full facts.”  “Word did not get out.”
From the get-go, it was always crunch time as his deadline to turn in any kind of petition was Dec. 29th at 5:00 p.m.  He feels the timing of the public meeting that occurred after the “clock had started ticking” was wrong.  
Clements is concerned that one truck would be replacing three, and that one truck would only be able to handle half the capacity of the older ones.  
He also has a concern about the elderly and the handicapped being able to get their trashcans out to the curb.  
Right now, the trucks go down each street once with the workers getting both sides of the street at the same time.  With the new system, they will have to go down the street twice to get both sides.  “What about the streets that are one-way?” Clements asks.
Jeremy Jones, the Director of Public Works, was asked to answer these questions.  He says the question of the elderly and handicapped has been answered.  “We already go up to these houses.  That would not change.  We will continue to bend over backwards to assist those who need it.  Identifying those who will need assistance  will be an extension of what we already do.”
In regards to the sanitation truck going down the wrong way, Jones says he has “spoken to other providers and that is what they also do.”  “There are three one-way streets with a long stretch:  A, B, and C over by the middle school.  They are the only ones that would be an issue.  They would only take one hour to do.  We would be smart at doing them during the right time of the day where traffic would not be an issue.”
Jones says they are able to get 6-10 years usage out of a trash truck.  It will end up costing the city $300,000 regardless of whether the automated trash service is approved or not.
Attrition is another issue that Jones says will work out to “the fact we have high enough turn-over.  We simply won’t fill positions when someone leaves.  We have replaced fifteen positions in the last five years.  We simply won’t replace those who have already left.”
Jones says he “wants people to have the facts.”  He goes on to say, “Once the bids go out, regardless of the bond, we will only spend whatever we have to.”
It is clear from social media and talking on the street, this issue has people talking in Wellington.