By Doug Petrowski
The July strike by Waste Management drivers is the reason that Mountlake Terrace voters failed to pass Proposition 1, Mountlake Terrace Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore said during a City Council work/study session Thursday evening.
“I want to put blame where it lies,” Sonmore said.
The animosity that many city residents felt following missed curbside collections of garbage, recycling and yard waste on July 25 and August 1 caused enough of them to vote no on the $25 million bond issue that appeared on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot, she said.
“We were so close, 126 votes,” Sonmore said, “but many residents were angry. People were threatening to throw their garbage on the steps of city hall.”
If it had been approved, Proposition 1 would have raised funds to pay for a new civic center for Mountlake Terrace; it received a 56.8 percent yes vote, but needed 60 percent approval to pass.
Teamster Local 117 recycle and yard waste drivers went on strike against Waste Management on July 25; the company’s garbage truck drivers from Teamster Local 174 honored the strike and didn’t report to work. The strike ended on Aug. 2, with Mountlake Terrace receiving some curbside pick-up of garbage, recycling and yard waste on Aug. 4.
City officials are discussing possible fines against Waste Management for not meeting contractual obligations to provide curbside pickup service to Mountlake Terrace residents and businesses during the period of the work stoppage.