BY BUDDY NEVINS
A Sunrise Commissioner charged Tuesday that two of her colleagues were pushing construction of a garbage dump to favor their friends in the waste industry.
Alu: Wishner and Rosen are the garbage industry’s friends
The city code does not allow the dump, which is formally called a garbage transfer station to sort garbage from recyclable material.
Mayor Roger Wishner and Commissioners Don Rosen and Larry Sofield lobbied to hear the proposal publicly over the objections of the staff.
But Commissioner Sheila Alu aimed her fire only at Wishner and Rosen. She largely ignored Sofield.
“What you are trying to do is illegal, Alu charged. “And make sure you (tell residents about) your relationships with (garbage company owners).
“All three of you are friendly with the owner., Alu continued. “Come on, you guys. Don’t think the public is so stupid…Something smells funny in Sunrise.
Turning to Wishner, a former medical waste industry executive, Alu said:
“You took an oath to uphold the laws of the city of Sunrise and now you are violating it for your friends…You have a personal relationship with this (waste industry) individual as does Mr. Rosen.”
She contended Wishner and Rosen were working against “the best interest of the people of Sunrise….you explain to the taxpayers why you are advocating for a transfer station.”
“I’m not advocating for anything,” Wishner said.
The debate was the beginning of what a non-elected city official predicted would be “the most contentious issue in Sunrise in years.
Green Now is the company that wants to build the transfer station at the northeast corner of NW 109 Avenue and NW 52 Street.
According to material given the city, the owners said the facility would “have the capabilities of processing all types of solid waste.”
Inside an enclosed building, waste from South Florida would be sorted and the recyclable material would be separated. The owner estimated about 75 trailer trucks-a-day full of garbage would travel on Sunrise streets initially.
But Alu said the station would eventually have “potentially hundreds of trucks.”
City Attorney Stuart Michelson warned commissioners privately that any garbage facility in Sunrise would violate the city’s contract with All Service Refuse. He said approval of the project could result in a major law suit which the city would have to defend.
“I have concerns about that, Michelson said.
The three commissioners seemed not to care.
Wishner, Rosen and Sofield voted to move the project ahead and hear a debate on the project on Feb. 23.
Alu and Commissioner Joey Scuotto voted against the project, citing the staff’s opposition.
“Let’s work on this project,” Wishner crowed after the vote.
And once again I ask the question of Wishner, Rosen and Sofield:
How will a garbage transfer station benefit Sunrise residents?