PINE LAWN, MO (KPLR) – Tensions were high Wednesday night as frustrated Pine Lawn residents presented their concerns to city leaders at a town hall meeting.
At issue; trash collection, and whether the city, already strapped for finances, should continue to pay a portion of resident's waste management bill after the current contract expires in September.
Mayor Terry Epps announced that he has signed a contract extension for services to continue into 2017, but that in October, the city will stop paying their portion and residents will incur the whole bill. A decision that blindsided the board of alderman and residents at the meeting.
"How are you going to sign that contract extension and not tell me- the head of the trash committee" asked Alderman Rosalyn Brown.
"As a mayor, do I let that issue prolonged and not sign a contract" said Mayor Terry Epps. "It’s not a long term contract, it’s just an extension until we decide what we’re going to do moving forward. If I didn’t make that decision on renewing this contract as an extension we wouldn’t have the trash services".
While the trash issue was a major concern, the town hall also focused on other residents concerns of trust in their leaders.
"I thought we would rebuild and regroup, but everybody wants to be a leader, nobody wants to be a follower right now" said Clifford Brown.
"The bitterness, like it said it’s the ego’s, it’s the attitudes, it’s the power thrusting and so this is what goes on here in the city of pine lawn".
In June, the state Auditor's office released a scathing report on the city of Pine Lawn, giving them a "poor" rating, which is the lowest rating to get.