Ruling expected on Arizona trash issue

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January 24, 2011

By Kyle Maichle

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona: Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh Hegyi is expected to issue a ruling during the week of January 23, 2011, that could determine if Fountain Hills voters would decide to switch to a single hauler for trash pick-up on the May 2011 ballot.[1]

Kathy Koultourides, a Fountain Hills resident and employee of Republic Services, filed the lawsuit.[1] The lawsuit challenges the legality of the petition qualifying the measure and asks the court to place a permanent injunction on the May 17, 2011 election election scheduled for the referendum.[1] The election will only be conducted via mail-in ballots.[1]

The battle over waste hauling started in November of 2010 when a divided Fountain Hills Town Council voted to switch to a single-hauler for curbside recycling and awarded a five year contract to Allied Waste, a Republic Services company, to perform the services.[1] In December of 2010, Citizens for Responsive Government presented the Town of Fountain Hills with over 1,000 signatures calling for a referendum on the issue.[1] The lawsuit alleges that the petition did not carry the specific provisions of the town's single-hauler ordinance.[1]

The named defendants in the case are Citizens for Responsive Government, Jeff Cohen, the group's chairman, Mayor Jay Schlum, the Town of Fountain Hills, Fountain Hills Town Council members, and Town Clerk Bevelyn Bender.[1]

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