Several days before casting his 'yes' vote in favor of the automated trash proposal, Council Member Kip Etter discussed the controversial issue as well as his efforts to save the former Masonic Lodge Building.
Wellington Daily News
“I'm 40 years old, married, with children (two adult),” said council member Kip Etter. “I was born and raised in Wellington, more specifically Mayfield, and attended K-12 at Wellington. In addition to being a Realtor, my family owns The Dore Grill & Bar in downtown Wellington as well as several rental properties in Wellington. Wellington is my hometown, it's the community where I chose to move back to raise my children and a place that I'm passionate about making the best place for our current citizens & the citizens of the future.”
That involved running for the city council two-and-a-half years ago. Since then, he has worked hard at his council job, but has already decided he “will not run again in 2020. There’s too much frustration to have a business (the city government) not run like a business, and lack of compensation (the low pay for a council member). There is just too much politics It’s daunting.”
One of the areas he has clashed was the automated trash issue. Etter says he was “disappointed” to read council member Valentine’s remarks about the trash issue in last week’s Wellington Daily News . Etter says Valentine is “opinionated.” and found his remarks comparing the supposed forced recycling to socialism to be “humorous,”in light of what he viewed as Valentine’s proposed harsh views on how to deal with the vicious dogs in the city.
Etter considers the option to go forward with the automated trash issue as “a no-brainer. Looking through the financials, it makes perfect sense to me. Going forward with this will bring Wellington into the future and bring us up to speed.”
“It will provide the city with a source of income outside the community in regards to people coming in to bring their trash and recycling. It will help offset fees citizens would be paying. It is a great opportunity. There will be no tax dollars being spent.”
Etter also views the proposed system as an opportunity to “reduce employees that’s consistently had a problem with staffing.:” He goes on to add that “no employees will be replaced. It will be accomplished through attrition.”
“When we transfer over to recycling, it will make us more environmentally responsible.”
Etter goes on to say, “One-third of the residential trash is already curbside. There is a larger percentage of users that would have little to no effect when it comes to the cans being serviced at the curb.”
Etter says the standardized trash cans will help keep animals from getting into them and and scattering the refuse all over people’s properties.
One of the more frustrating things Etter fought for was the preservation of the former Masonic Hall building that is now in the process of being torn down. The loss of the building is “extremely sad. The city did not make any effort to save it.” Etter believes there was no serious effort to find any investor or developer to take over the property. “Someone could have bought it for as low as a dollar. We could have helped save the downtown area and kept the property on the tax roll.”
Etter says that he was told saving the building would not work, and he says that “was ridiculous.” “Certain properties or scenarios would negate the economic cost of tearing these structures down.”
Now, Etter says, with the vacant lot price and loss of tax dollars, it will be a huge loss to the city. “Once you tear it down, it is gone. We need to hold onto our assets as much as we can.”
Etter goes even further with his frustration with the lack of response from the city, saying it was “Laziness. It would have required leadership. Instead, we have lack of leadership.”
“We have an obligation to tear it down with the best of intentions and be responsible to history and with our tax dollars.”
In closing, Etter sighs, “I’ve talked until I was blue in the face to implement a salvage process, but no one was interested.”