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Waste Authority says: Lawsuit ends when Van der Linde pays

by Hawes Spencer
(434) 295-8700 x230
published 5:01pm Thursday Dec 17, 2009
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news-rswa-davidbrown“He certainly was aware that the service contribution existed,” Brown said Thursday.

In its first meeting since its star witness was convicted and jailed for attempted extortion related to its case, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority isn’t shying away from its controversial lawsuit against recycling entrepreneur Peter van Der Linde. Despite a new public plea from a pair of citizens at its December meeting, the board gave no indication that it was backing down.

“I agree that it’s a stupid lawsuit,” said board member and City Councilor David Brown, noting that the lawsuit would disappear if Van der Linde would pay the approximately one million dollars the Authority contends he owes for depositing trash without paying a $16 Authority fee.

“Figure out how much trash,” said Brown. “Have him pay it, and let’s be done.”

Earlier in the meeting, recent Charlottesville City Council candidate Bob Fenwick launched the debate by urging the Authority to quit the lawsuit, which has used RICO, the Racketeer Influenced Corruption act, to pursue Van der Linde for as much as $20 million.

“Who is going to stand up and say that this is wrong?” asked Fenwick. “Where is the Chamber of Commerce? Where is the Free Enterprise Forum?”

The director of the Free Enterprise Forum was there in the second row, but he decided to sit tight until former Charlottesville Planning Commissioner Betty Mooney stood up with a sign reading “Frederick Must Go” and urging the embattled Authority director to resign.

“I’m sure he’s great as an engineer,” said Mooney, damning with faint praise.

“I applaud the professionalism of Tom Frederick,” said the Forum’s Neil Williamson, “and I applaud the public process that brought forth the community water supply plan.”

As for the lawsuit against Van der Linde, Williamson said the Forum hasn’t yet decided its stand. “I think it’s a fair question to ask,” he said after the meeting. “It’s too big an issue for us not to be paying attention.”

Albemarle County Adminstrator Bob Tucker, who serves on the board of the related Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority, which was the body to whom Mooney directed her Frederick-Must-Go remarks, quickly made a motion for a vote of confidence in Frederick, and all seven members of the board voted “aye.”

In other action, the Water Authority board heard from three property owners, each unhappy that parts of their yards were under threat of condemnation for a large sewer pipe, the Meadowcreek Interceptor. Despite their pleas, the board voted to authorize Frederick to take the easements by condemnation.

“That allows us to file,” said Frederick. “That doesn’t mean we can’t still settle.”

The board also awarded a $10.8 construction contract to Little Falls, New Jersey-based Metra Industries for the Interceptor, a project cynically seen as enabling the construction of the Albemarle Place development but defended by the Authority as a necessary upgrade. According to an Authority memo, the low bid by Metra was literally half what the Authority was expecting to pay for the work.

–updated at 7:12am Friday with Interceptor info



  • Gasbag Self Ordained Expert December 17th, 2009 | 6:03 pm

    Lawsuit ends when Van der Linde pays?

    Sounds like extortion to me.

  • Richard Lloyd December 17th, 2009 | 6:27 pm

    What evidence is there that van de Linde owes $1 million? Has he been singled out from other hauler who are being given a pass? Does Councilor Brown even have a case?

    As for the public process that produced the 50 Year Community Water System; in my humble opinion it was severely flawed, choaked with Red Herring and outright illegal activity.

  • **** December 17th, 2009 | 6:54 pm

    So the authority spends $350,000 on lawyers and then tells van der Linde to “pay what he owes”? Is Councilor Brown authorized to settle this litigation on the part of RSWA? His statement seems to indicate that RSWA considers van der Linde to simply be behind in what he owes the Authority which can be settled with a catching up of accounts rather than the criminal mastermind they paint him as in the press…
    Would someone @ the Hook ask David Brown how he feels about the RSWA using the courts to profit (20 mil!!?) from the negligence of its own agent (BFI)? I’d love to hear his response.
    [italics added to denote sarcasm]

  • Kramer December 17th, 2009 | 7:32 pm

    I hope that when they lose in court Van der lin sues and WINS BIG. When the ratepayers realize that they are paying for peoples mistakes they will get a grip and take back control before more idiotic decisions are made.

  • CT not for me December 17th, 2009 | 7:33 pm

    Gasbag Self Ordained Expert considering how many people you have sued you must have been extorting them as well-
    takes one to know one?

  • Kramer December 17th, 2009 | 7:55 pm

    OK, so if you went into Best Buy and bought a TV for 400 bucks and they asked you for 400 bucks and you gave them 400 bucks and took your tv home who’s fault is it that they didn’t charge you tax?

    Are you under a LEGAL obligation to ask them to collect the tax from you? NO
    Are you under a moral obligation to ask them? MAYBE

    Can the state take you to court to pay the tax that Best Buy didn’t collect? DOUBTFUL

    Can they force Best Buy to pay the tax they didn’t collect? PROBABLY

    Can Best Buy sue you for the taxes they forgot to collect? DOUBTFUL

    Especially since there is no direct paper trail. Does BFI have direct written proof of any violation? Supposition is not evidence.

    Was BFI paid a fee to collect the tax? If not, holding them accountable is real iffy on its face. Asking questions and tabulating taxes is a little different than withholding from payroll. What was BFI supposed to do if a hauler lied.Did they have instructions or authority to accuse a hauler of a crime?

    Seems to me that this is just another example of incomptent government in action. They should drop the case now and get it behind them.

    and these folks want to be our latex salesman…….

  • Gasbag Self Ordained Expert December 17th, 2009 | 7:58 pm

    Ohh boy! Here we go again. Same ole, same ole…

    I was due every penny ever paid to me by anybody. I actually agreed to settle some of my cases for less than I should have accepted, so I therefore saved YOU some tax money.

    Please feel free to say “Thank You” at any point in this conversation, no matter how many user names you attempt to use in this thread. :)

  • Gasbag Self Ordained Expert December 17th, 2009 | 8:02 pm

    quote: “Are you under a LEGAL obligation to ask them to collect the tax from you?”

    You are obilgated by law to pay any and all local, state and federal taxes you owe. It’s your responsilbility to know what they are and to pay them. Try not paying your local real estate taxes this year and see how far your argument flies that you didn’t owe them because the city or county did not bill you for them. :)

  • Waldo Jaquith December 17th, 2009 | 9:05 pm

    No, Kramer’s example is correct. It’s the obligation of a business to pay sales tax, which they may or may not choose to pass onto you in the form of a direct percentage on top of the advertised price. In the provided example, Best Buy owes the money, not the customer. I have no idea whether that’s an accurate analog for the situation at hand, but the example is definitely correct.

  • Betty Mooney December 17th, 2009 | 9:27 pm

    “I applaud the professionalism of Tom Frederick,” said the Forum’s Williamson, “and I applaud the public process that brought forth the community water supply plan.”

    Dear Mr. Williamson,

    Before you applaud too vociferously, perhaps you would like to study the public process. Even though the first public meeting was held in September of 2004, the South Fork to Ragged Mt. Pipeline, that became an integral part of the chosen alternative, for the water plan, wasn’t announced publicly until Meeting #9 , October 2005, and the final decision to chose the new dam and new pipeline was made at the next public meeting #10 , April 2006. I think if you study this timeline you will see that this was not a very public process, but one with a few major stakeholders; who made a decision and pushed it through. Cost was never discussed.

    I have the attendance records for all these meetings. Overwhelmingly, attended by staff of the Nature Conservancy, Piedmont Environmental Council, Southern Environmental Law Center, Friends of the Moorman’s River, and City and County Staff,and very few elected officials. The few unpaid residents, that did attend, were primarily from the county. I would be glad to share these records with you.

    This is a direct link to every public meeting that was held, and a description of it’s content:


  • CC December 17th, 2009 | 9:49 pm

    Please someone, get ready now to defeat this moron if he decides to run for council again. David Brown is nothing but an embarrassment to this city.

  • justice served December 17th, 2009 | 10:06 pm

    The man owes money to the tax payers. Period. He should pay the money he owes that he stole. Yes he is establishing a needed businesses but crime is crime and if there is a doubt it should be run through the courts. That is what the lawsuit is about, and not to be hijacked by community jealotts who are trying to embarrass Tom Frederick. Move on to your next agenda and if he is in the right he will be found not guilty.

  • TJ December 17th, 2009 | 10:14 pm

    How do you know he owes money to the taxpayer? At the last City Council meeting, I learned, that we are the ones who owe him, and a lot of other trash haulers, money.

  • Wedge December 18th, 2009 | 12:26 am

    Miss Manners once responded to a particularly unsavory inquiry with:
    “Oh my! If Miss Manners reaches into her large handbag and gives you some money, would you all please go away?”
    My sentiments exactly. This town exhausts me. The endless bickering over a 35-year-old parkway or a recent waste solution–it’s always the same. This articulate side aligns against the other articulate side and the press prints the arguments. There has to be a better way and, with all apologies to the City’s aging Top 10 rankings, a better place too. Talk amongst yourselves…talk amongst yourselves……

  • Ed December 18th, 2009 | 12:34 am

    Seriously I could care less about Tom Frederick but you’d have to be an idiot to continue to push this lawsuit. This smells like more and more of a vendetta against one guy because he embarrassed the authority by building a better mechanism to handle trash. Maybe if the authority had explored the options that the accused had the guts to try then we’d all be paying a lot less money. The authority has 1 witness out of more than a dozen - and they pick the guy they say represents the truth over ALL THE OTHERS - and he’s a lifelong criminal, malcontent, and now convicted extortionist. The authority just keeps on making less and less sense as the months pass. How disfunctional and out of touch do you have to be city council?

  • Cville Eye December 18th, 2009 | 1:25 am

    “The authority just keeps on making less and less sense as the months pass.” The idea of having authorities just keeps on making less and less sense as the months pass.
    “…embarrass Tom Frederick” Tom Frederick should be embarrassed when he re-examines his statements made to the public about The Nature Conservancy’s water proposal.
    I doubt seriously if David Brown could ever get renominated by the Democratic Party to run for Council. Oh, Lord, how long must we wander through the desert?

  • Man with a paper a-hole December 18th, 2009 | 1:54 am

    Has Van der Linde even been billed for the outstanding fees? Are said fees verifiable?

    If it was a matter of just paying the outstanding debt and the whole matter goes away, I somehow suspect Van der Linde would end this mess promptly. Now that his new facility has opened and he’s captured perhaps 90% or more of the market, coming up with the funds wouldn’t be all that difficult.

    Brown’s comment really reeks of a bait and switch scheme to me…

  • Cville Eye December 18th, 2009 | 2:03 am

    “Figure out how much trash,” said Brown. “Have him pay it, and let’s be done.”

  • St. Halsey December 18th, 2009 | 8:18 am

    Brown might be wrong but Van de linde has to show me that Brown has got it wrong and why. Mooney et al seem to have blinders on when it comes to Van de linde not paying what is owed. He stole money by not paying unless BFI never asked-but he must have known he was getting a free pass on the fees. No one has yet sited the actual law that was passed. I have seen everything else here footnoted and link to but not this.

    Does that tipping fee law exist online? It seems to be a central sticking point for me and until I know otherwise I’d like to keep this suit going. I agree with most of what Man with paper said as well.

  • Richard Lloyd December 18th, 2009 | 8:35 am

    Do we get the government we deserve? Perhaps a bit more thought at the poles, less blind allegiance to a political party would attract better and more diverse candidates.

    Is the cost of living affected by the waste and bad decisions of our elected officials? Sky high legal fees to defend trumped up cases to extort compliance to ridiculous situations? Midnight deals to compose illegitimate public task force reports?

    Hopefully the pendulum will swing very soon and this sad circus will end. A better day is possible if we just use our God given minds.

  • Jeff December 18th, 2009 | 8:36 am

    When RSWA went into business with BFI and made them, the only ones that DIDN’T HAVE TO PAY the $16 tipping fee, when all the other haulers did, that is when they started down the path that would lead them into this mess. Not only did BFI not have to pay the tipping fee, but they could make more money according to the Hook articles and Mr. Van der Linde’s statements on the Coy Barefoot show, by not asking where the trash came from. Then they could add on other fees, that RSWA would not allow, and bill the haulers for even more than if the trash was coming from Charlottesville or Albemarle. No wonder they didn’t ask.


  • **** December 18th, 2009 | 10:40 am

    If BFI didn’t have to pay the fee in question, and van der Linde was taking his trash to BFI’s facility, who’s to say that BFI wasn’t assuming ownership of the trash in question and passing on its discount to other haulers so that they wouldn’t start shipping their trash elsewhere? Like to the Ivy transfer station?

  • Kathy December 18th, 2009 | 11:03 am

    How does one “applaud vociferously?”

  • St. Halsey December 18th, 2009 | 12:08 pm

    I been doing some research and I was told that you had to fill out paperwork for each load that was dropped at BFI. On that paperwork was a box/blank for where the trash came from. If Van de linde left this blank intentionally it doesn’t matter if he was asked. Does anyone else know this to be true?

  • CC December 18th, 2009 | 12:44 pm

    “Brown might be wrong but Van de linde has to show me that Brown has got it wrong and why. ”

    Isn’t the accuser the one who’s supposed to provide proof in the system we all live under? It’s Brown, et al. who need to demonstrate that Van der Linde has done something wrong. I don’t see anything yet that suggests that is likely to happen beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • CC December 18th, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    “How does one “applaud vociferously?””

    Did you read the quote that has someone SAYING “I applaud”?

  • Man with a paper a-hole December 18th, 2009 | 2:37 pm

    Kathy, for what it’s worth, I thought that use of the word was questionable too. Without a doubt unorthodox, but still acceptable…just barely. Hammering on people for misuse of words serves no purpose except to perpetuate your own erudite ineptitude, so perhaps you should try to refrain from comment unless it’s so flagrantly wrong that you have no idea what they are talking about. In other words;Try showing some manners. The intent of her word/s were clear enough that pointing out a slight context error only stands to make you look like an arrogant ass. Thanks for contributing so much to the conversation!

    CC, the quote was, “Before you applaud too vociferously, perhaps you would…”

  • Cville Eye December 18th, 2009 | 3:01 pm

    The “service contribution fee” is not a law. Obviously, it is a contractual agreement between RSWA and BFI. Whether it is part of the liscence that other trash haulers have had to agree to in order to operate in the city and county, I have no idea.
    I suspect that is why RSWA has decided to go RICO; it is afraid a judge will never declare that the haulers must pay the fees, just a fine for not paying the fees that should have been spelled out in the license to operate in the city and county.

  • tigerbabe December 18th, 2009 | 4:17 pm

    The service contribution “fee” sounds like the Government getting paid twice for the same service… once from the taxpayers and a second time from the taxpayers who pay again through a third party.

    not being a grammatic scholar… would it be defined as “ironic” that the same government who is collecting “fees” like the mafia then uses RICO when when the extorted party doesn’t pay up?

  • Cville Eye December 18th, 2009 | 5:13 pm

    I would define it as racketeering.

  • CC December 18th, 2009 | 6:36 pm

    Man with a paper a-hole, I vociferociously applaud your handle. Note however re: your comment above-

    1- ““I applaud the professionalism of Tom Frederick,” said the Forum’s Neil Williamson” was the original quote.

    2- The response was “Before you applaud too vociferously, perhaps you would like to study the public process.”

    3- That was what raised the question “How does one “applaud vociferously?”

    When one applauds verbally as originally done, it doesn’t stretch the imagination too much to imagine that it might be done to too great of a degree. At least that’s how I read the meaning of #2 above. We could subject the precise choice of “vociferously” rather than say “vocally” or maybe a more origin neutral “loudly,” or even “too freaking much,” to further analysis, but I will abstain if you will.

  • Man with a paper a-hole December 18th, 2009 | 9:44 pm

    Well, we all know how people love the sound of their own voice when saying words which they don’t necessarily grasp the entire meaning of but still feel the need to interject said word in a vociferous manner in an attempt to ascertain a more scholarly appearing station in life. Oh how I love a good run on sentence…

    One of my favorite such words is delicatessen. I don’t have a clue what it means, but I sure LOVE the way it sounds.

  • Blair Hawkins December 19th, 2009 | 3:50 am

    In context, applaud “vociferously” is rhetorically pointing out how critics of the water supply plan have behaved. Otherwise the adverb would be “passionately” or similar. In historical context, Frederick is not so bad compared to previous directors. Critics don’t understand Frederick’s support because they don’t know the history, sometimes even when they participated in that history. History is keeping him in office. “Vociferous” rhetoric is no match for history.

    On the condemnations for the sewer: Why don’t the owners settle? The court will side with Rivanna (and likely with RWSA on the recycling case). The court and Rivanna are sister agencies- both funded and controlled by the legislature. Is it a question of compensation? Although often used, fair market value is meaningless with eminent domain because one party is under coercion. It’s not a fair negotiation. So the owners may disagree on the compensation to justify the easement.

    But historic preservation is often a factor in forcing a condemnation suit. If you object to the project, the condemnation is written into the deed and sits in the courthouse forever and pops up when you trace the deed of the property. But if you negotiate and settle, the deed appears as if it were a fair market sale when in actuality you were under threat of condemnation.

  • TJ December 19th, 2009 | 2:42 pm

    The recycling case is a civil RICO suit, held in federal court, before a jury of your peers. Are you saying this man is already declared guilty ?

  • TJ December 19th, 2009 | 2:43 pm

    “The court will side with Rivanna (and likely with RWSA on the recycling case). The court and Rivanna are sister agencies- both funded and controlled by the legislature.”

    Mr. Hawkins my question is directed to this statement in your post.

  • herby December 20th, 2009 | 2:22 am

    David Brown is a nut case- It’s a law suit, but it appears that he has declared Peter’s company guilty without the trial. Very nice move by an elected official…….welcome to C’ville, or is it Communistville.

  • taxman December 20th, 2009 | 3:25 am

    Not sure how this turned into a “sales tax” collection issue. It is not so much the obligation of a person to “pay” sales tax, but rather the obligation of the retailer to collect the sales tax and then pay the collected funds to the State. If you buy something out of the State of Virginia, you will get a bill from the State of Virginia based upon a bill of lading for a delivered product. This is why when you buy something over the internet that State sales tax may be collecetd- especially when the vendor has a location in your State.

    If Best Buy did not collect the tax, they cannot take you to court for their “forgetfullness”, but you are obligated to pay them when they come to collect for their absentmindedness>

    Again, not sure why this conversation has digressed to a tax issue.

  • Taxpayer December 20th, 2009 | 7:37 am

    In order to collect for their absentmindeness, they would need to know what you bought and have a bill to present to you; that is my understanding of what went wrong here. The Best Buy in this case is (BFI) and they presented all the haulers with bills, which they paid, now RSWA claims that the BFI bills were incorrect and should have included an additional fee owed to them if the trash came from their territory, and Mr. Van der Linde and the other haulers all paid the bills they were given by BFI, claiming no one asked them where the trash was from at the gate.

    So the analogy is that for Best Buy ( BFI ) to collect the tax that RSWA claims it is owed, Best Buy needs to go back to all the (consumers) haulers with bills that say the trash came form RSWA territory, but BFI doesn’t have any records to show that, according to what we’ve been told. In fact, BFI could have made more money for themselves, according to Mr. Van der linde, by not keeping receipts, that said the trash was from RSWA territory, and by not collecting the tax.

    RSWA discovered, that for as long as perhaps 7 years, BFI was not collecting the tax (tipping fee) and RSWA threatened them with a lawsuit for mismanaging the contract to do so. My question is, if the officials are so worried about the money lost for the taxpayer, why didn’t they collect it from BFI way back when, surely more than a million was lost by their mismanagement, and why are they not going after them now that they still don’t have records to show where trash came from and why has someone been harassing the DEQ, and Mr. Van der Linde for 2 years trying to shut him down with complaints, and why if RSWA is going after one hauler for not paying the tax and BFI has no records, aren’t they going after all the haulers ( how do they know they failed to pay the RSWA tipping fee ? )

    I hope the elected officials are reading this because these are the questions the community needs answers to if a million dollars of our money is going to be spent on this lawsuit. Overwhelmingly the people I know are against this lawsuit and believe it is nothing more than an attempt to close down Van der Linde Recycling so that RSWA and it’s partner can take them over. RSWA is the failing business, and their partner BFI will lose big-time too, so they have every motivation to want Van der Linde out of the picture.

    “I agree that it’s a stupid lawsuit,” said board member and City Councilor David Brown. Well, Mr. Brown we agree also, and if it’s money for the taxpayer you are after, then you need to go after BFI not the little guys, the trash haulers, who weren’t to blame for BFI mismanagement of your contract with them.

    Please read the Hook article below Mr. Brown and Mr. Boyd, and also the comments from Mr. Simmerman, from the DEQ, in the Hook Cover Story “Tipping Point”; then defend this lawsuit and use of our money, to try to shut down Van der Linde Recycling.

    by Dave McNair:
    “The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority is suing Peter Van der Linde, who recently opened a major recycling facility in Zion Crossroads (right next to the RSWA-sponsored facility), to retrieve millions in fees the outspoken hauler allegedly avoided paying by lying about the origins of his trash. However, Authority documents recently obtained by the Hook show that the Authority may have been fleeced by its own partner in trash.

    In 2005, seven years after the RSWA inked a deal with a firm called Allied Waste (then BFI and now part of a publicly held company called Republic Services) to send area waste to Allied’s waste station in Zion Crossroads, RSWA officials learned that Allied employees were “completely unaware” of their duty to collect a $16 “service contribution fee” for the Authority every time in-district (i.e. Charlottesville and Albemarle) waste crossed company scales.

    “Proper charging and accounting of customers has been inaccurately managed,” RSWA finance director Lonnie Wood told Allied officials in a November 2005 letter. “[T]here has been and continues to be a breach of contact.”

    Wood chafed that Allied kept customer accounts directly with area haulers, including Van der Linde, in violation of its RSWA contract, and he said the Authority was “prepared to take legal action.”


  • Taxpayer December 20th, 2009 | 7:45 am

    Taxpayers also need to demand that our officials find out who is harassing Mr.Van der Linde and the DEQ, as reported in this article under ” Unfounded Complaints”

    by Dave McNair:

    However, Simmerman reveals that RSWA officials made an inquiry about Van der Linde’s operation as early as June of last year– which he thought was odd because it was out of their jurisdiction– asking when permits would be issued, what monthly tonnage rates would be, and whether Van der Linde had a solid waste management plan.

    Although Simmerman says he can’t prove the calls weren’t from concerned citizens, he strongly suspects players in the trash business because Van der Linde’s facility is “upsetting the status quo” by diverting waste “away from the RSWA and BFI.”


  • Peter van der Linde December 21st, 2009 | 8:49 am

    To St. Halsey - Paperwork was not presented for truck driver’s
    signature. Rarely was the question of origin even asked by BFI.
    Furthermore, 80% of the time, van der Linde, and other haulers, paid more for trash originating out of RSWA district than in RSWA district (Charlottesville/Albemarle). Glad to forward any proof of this and/or anything else you request to provide a clear objective, understanding of the situation. Thank you for your

  • taxman 2 December 21st, 2009 | 9:35 am

    If BFI did not collect the “tax” (fee. extortion/ whatever) then the authoity needs to sue them or deal with them however the regualtions stipulate for failure to follow the laws.

    If BFI wants to then sue the haulers that is their perogative.

    If best buy refuses to collect the tax the state of Va has no authority to sue the purchaser for the money as it was a failure of their agent to collect. (for which the agent is paid. (although a miniscule amount)Best Buy could still chase you.

    The only exceptions to this would be where there is a title involved such as a home car or boat. The state can hold the title and auction it for the unpaid taxes regardless of who didn’t pay.

    They cannot come and repossess your TV set for unpaid taxes.

    The way I see it unless the authoity can prove some sort of conspiracy they are out of luck using fees. Especially since a conspiracy would involve two parties. Who did Van der lin allegedly conspire with and what was the quid pro quo?

    This is just government run amok.

  • Cville Eye December 21st, 2009 | 11:57 am

    I have yet to find any evidence that RSWA has any right but “flow control” (upheld by the US Supreme Court) dictating where all trash orginating in its jurisdiction must be deposited. It doesn’t say what RSWA can do the the independent haulers if they do not follow its wishes. Is there a fine system?

  • County Resident December 29th, 2009 | 1:15 pm

    Spending $1M in legal fees ($350K so far, but will be way more) to try to collect $1M in alleged unpaid fees seems ludicrous, and a complete waste of our local government’s money and time. As a County taxpayer, I’m offended that my tax dollars (via the County’s financial support of RSWA) are being spent on this lawsuit, while other County budgets are facing limited funds. This waste of resources must stop. In the meantime, I now use Time Disposal (timedisposalinc.com) to haul my trash & recycling, as they use the Van der Linde facility.

  • Cville Eye December 29th, 2009 | 1:35 pm

    Do we really want Ken Boyd to represent us in Washington? He does’nt seem to be doing a good job of it now as exhibited by this matter.

  • Recycler December 29th, 2009 | 1:54 pm

    If Ken Boyd continues to support this suit, now that the RSWA star and only witness sits in jail, for attempted extortion of Mr. Van der Linde; I think this action should disqualify him from ever holding office again, either local, or national.

  • Citizen December 29th, 2009 | 4:17 pm

    Be sure to question Mr. Boyd about his support of this “stupid lawsuit”, Mr. Brown’s term. How can he possibly think he could be the Republican candidate against Perrello, given his support of this ? What a waste of money !

    At WINA:

    The first debate between Congressman Tom Perriello and the Republicans vying for the Fifth District seat will be held in Charlottesville next month. The event will be sponsored by the Tea Party on Friday January 22nd at Lane Auditorium inside the Albemarle County Office Building on McIntire Road at 7 p.m. Ken Boyd, Laurence Verga and Michael McFadden of Albemarle County, as well as Robert Hurt of Chatham, Ron Ferrin of Campbell County, and Feda Kidd Morton of Fluvanna are on the attendee list.

  • St. Halsey December 29th, 2009 | 5:09 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Van der Linde, for responding- I find it quite interesting that nothing was ever done in terms of written records. It does seem that the burden of proof shifts to the RWSA on this entire matter if BFI was lax in their record keeping. What I don’t yet understand is what you seem to be saying is the only reason you didn’t pay was that you weren’t asked. Is that correct?

    I love how people aren’t even willing to let this play out a bit. The last two poster pretend that Ken Boyd is the only person involved. Not even close - although most area democrats would like you to think so. Where is the venom for the city member of the board or the citizen member?? If this is resolved in a fair manner will everyone hail Boyd as the hero? I take take bets that the answer will be no.

    It wasn’t Boyd who started the suit and he is just one member of the RSWA board. See how it finishes not the noise and static in the middle. Van der Linde sued the RSWA about these very fees and lost in the Virginia supreme court. To only blame Boyd is to play crass politics. But by all means ignore the facts.

  • Recycler December 29th, 2009 | 6:26 pm

    Van der Linde sued because he thought it was unfair that all the haulers accept BFI had to pay the tipping fee–this was the first step toward flow control, or monopoly trash control in my book, and was wrong from the get go –even David Brown admits that. The judge didn’t say that Van der linde was wrong in objecting to RSWA setting up an exclusive agreement in which BFI didn’t pay the tipping fee, he only said it was a matter for the politicians. Well the politicians have made a mess of it and they are the ones we will hold responsible. I doubt if you ever see David Brown elected to another local or state office either, for participating in this corrupt fiasco.

    My guess,, St. Halsey is that you are a lawyer with McGuireWoods and maybe even Jonathan Blank the lead attorney against Van der Linde–if you are, better get out while you can –you’re reputation, in this town, for this malicious lawsuit in which your law firm stands to make millions is ……( fill in the blank)

  • St. Halsey December 29th, 2009 | 6:45 pm

    I have never been so insulted in all my life Recycler - to be called an attorney. You sir, have no shame at all to accuse random folks of such a thing. I should sue you for calling me one and perhaps I should get Mr. Blank to take the case ( Perhaps I’ll get some advice for gasbag on who to hire).

    The Supreme Court of Virginia (not just a “judge”) said that Van der Linde was wrong and the RWSA was well within the law. They upheld all the previous lower court rulings. Van de Linde never won at any level with this suit. The court didn’t say give it to the politicans, they said that a local goverment or authority could charge haulers for doing business - you know like Albemarle charges personal property tax or professional fess.

    As for David Brown he ain’t no lawyer and to get re-elected all he has to do is get the nomination- same as it ever was in Charlottesville.

  • Cville Eye December 29th, 2009 | 6:50 pm

    Nonsense, Recycler, St. Halsey obviously does not understand even the rudiments of American law. In fact, I think he’s from eastern Europe: “It does seem that the burden of proof shifts to the RWSA on this entire matter if BFI was lax in their record keeping.” The burden of proof is ALWAYs encumbent upon the accuser.
    I do agree with Recycler that David Brown would waste his time running locally for any future office, not just because of his position on this, but also because of his performance on Council.
    “The last two poster pretend that Ken Boyd is the only person involved” He’s the only one seeking to unseat Perriello which he will never do because of his demostrated lack of good judgment in this matter.
    Also, St. Halsey, I have never been a Democrat. Instead of summing people up with lablels and stereotypes., why not try to use your brain?, or, even better, take a year-long course in American Civics.
    What is totally unclear to me is how the RSWA plans to show the amount of financial damage it believes van der Linde is responsible for, since it has request van der Linde records and obviously has none of its own. Just another example of how poorly RSWA has been managed for years. I certainly hope that this diseased organization will cease to exist next year, but, unfortunately the amateurs we have on Council will support Gary Bad-managment O’Connell’s desire to keep it going and keep it going in the wrong direction. Charlottesville’s voter get exactly what they deserve.

  • Kelly December 29th, 2009 | 7:02 pm

    I agree St. Halsey sounds like a lawyer to me too. By the way, I was shocked to hear, on today’s Rob Schilling show, how much McGireWoods, and Blank, will make from us common folk –this needs to be stopped and I’ve talked to all my friends and they are all against this suit. We use Time Disposal for our trash and they’re great, very reliable. I suggest we all switch to haulers that use Van der Linde.

    Thanks Rob, great show and keep up the pressure on the politians, we must stop this before McGuireWoods gets one more dime of our money .


  • Cville Eye December 29th, 2009 | 7:12 pm

    @St. Halsey,

    Under the agreement, the Authority is responsible for collecting disposal fees from all Rivanna Service Area haulers which deliver municipal solid waste to the Zion Crossroads Transfer Station. The fee has two components: (1) a base disposal fee of $46 per ton that the Authority collects and pays to AWS for the use of the transfer station; and (2) a “service contribution fee” of $16 per ton, which the Authority retains in return for providing “comprehensive waste management services.” “Comprehensive waste management services” is not defined in the agreement, but the Authority maintains that it is a service charge for billing and operational costs. Prior to 2005, Van der Linde paid the $46 per ton base disposal fee directly to AWS and therefore paid nothing to the Authority, since the Authority was not involved in the billing process. Beginning in 2005, however, the Authority began asserting its rights under the agreement to invoice area waste haulers (except AWS) for their use of the transfer station and tack on the $16 per ton service contribution fee. Van der Linde does not challenge the rationality of exempting AWS from the $46 per ton base fee, which, if assessed against AWS, would simply be remitted back to itself. However, Van der Linde does argue that all area waste haulers, including AWS, should share equally in the responsibility for paying the Authority’s billing and operational costs through the $16 per ton service contribution fee. Van der Linde, through the institution of this lawsuit in late 2005, had not passed the $16 per ton “service contribution fee” onto its customers, and alleges that because of this it has incurred approximately $31,882.35 in damages by absorbing the cost of the fee. Additionally, Van der Linde alleges that it will suffer lost business because AWS has been contacting customers of Van der Linde and informing them that they can save $16 per ton by switching to AWS for municipal waste disposal. Since AWS does not have to pay the $16 fee, it does not have to pass this cost on to its customers, and thus AWS has a $16 per ton price advantage over all of its competitors. These activities form the basis of Van der Linde’s equal protection claim. II. A. The Equal Protection Clause to the Fourteenth Amendment provides that “[n]o State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdic-[sic]
    What say you? I think you’re trying to get van der Linde others to provide you with information that you are too lazy to research for yourself..
    The VA Supreme Court said it was a plitical matter. The US Supreme Court has upheld that “flow control” after hearing a case from another state.
    Also, information about the current law suit: http://blog.schillingshow.com/2009/11/05/van-der-linde-recycling-responds-to-rswa-lawsuit/

  • St. Halsey December 29th, 2009 | 7:37 pm

    Cville Eye what in what your quote disagrees with anything I said? Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that Van de Linde lost- the majority was on my side. You say the court called it a “political matter” (please cite that phrase since it’s not in what you posted here) I say it is a right held by local government. You call it’s politics to make it sound wrong- the Supreme Court said it was legal for the RSWA to charge fees. What part of civics was it when you lose all your suits but then you can ignore the law? the The Equal Protection Clause to the Fourteenth Amendment -the court rejected Van de Linde claim or didn’t you read that in the hyperlink YOU provided?

    “(”Van der Linde”) appeals the dismissal of its complaint against the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority (”the Authority”), alleging, inter alia, that it was denied equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. We review the district court’s order of dismissal de novo, Baird v. Rose, 192 F.3d 462, 467 (4th Cir. 1999), and now affirm.”

    I think since Mr. Van de Linde has a case based on the fact the RWSA can’t now prove he was asked. For what I read here there very well not be a reason to sue Van de Linde. But what you haven’t convince me that Van de linde didn’t know he owed the fees in the first place. While he can’t be shown to have broken the law ( and the fact that no one else paid it either is a large factor in his favor) he knew he wasn’t paying the tipping fees. Your use of insults belies the weakness of your response

  • TJ December 29th, 2009 | 7:37 pm

    @St. Halsey “I should sue you for calling me one,” who but a lawyer would say this ?

  • Cville Eye December 29th, 2009 | 8:52 pm

    St. Halsey, you obviously didn’t follow the links.
    “Ironically Mr. van der Linde did not lose the suit against RSWA. The court’s opinion was that Mr. van der Linde should “work it out politically” (Mr. van der Linde is still not sure exacty what “work it out politically” mean” and I’m not doing your work for you. Hint: there are two different Supreme Courts in this story.
    I’m not going through the material offered at each of the links I’ve given to you. YOU do it yourself so that you can understand what are the issues and stop asking everybody else because you have just started to pay attention. That’s high school.

  • Richard Lloyd December 29th, 2009 | 8:54 pm

    St Halsey wants the citation. So from the US Supreme Court case which I am sure he is familure;

    “Nothing in the Commerce Clause vests the responsibility for such a policy judgment with the Federal Judiciary. Finally, while the Court’s dormant Commerce Clause cases often find discrimination when the burden of state regulation falls on interests outside the State, the most palpable harm imposed by the ordinances at issue–more expensive trash removal–will likely fall upon the very people who voted for the laws, the Counties’ citizens. There is no reason to step in and hand local businesses a victory they could not obtain through the political process. Pp. 10-13.”


    Is short, the court says that the government has police powers to protect the people. Therefore the government can set up “flow control” to protect the people. If the people have a problem with the cost or commercial effects then they can correct it through the political process. That is throw the bad offcial out of office and elect better ones through the political process.

  • TJ December 29th, 2009 | 8:59 pm

    Throw the bums out, I say !

  • Jeff December 29th, 2009 | 9:04 pm

    For St. Jonathan Halsey,

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

  • Richard Lloyd December 29th, 2009 | 9:12 pm

    TJ yes EXACTLY - nothing will change until we do. Red Herring in the water supply and politicians persecuting individual citizens. Charlottesville/Albemarle deserves better than this.
    Are there potential violations of law and do any of these topics have merit?
    • Water
    • Waste
    • 4-Chairs operating “Under Color of Public Office”
    • Sally Thomas multiple Violations of Open Government Law
    • on and on

    I am not a lawyer but there are many in the community. Who will stand up and say enough? Is there a leader around?

  • Richard Lloyd December 29th, 2009 | 9:26 pm

    Complete paragraph for thos who are interested;
    ” (c) The flow control ordinances in this case do not discriminate against interstate commerce. Compelling reasons justify treating these laws differently from laws favoring particular private businesses over their competitors. “[A]ny notion of discrimination assumes a comparison of substantially similar entities,” General Motors Corp. v. Tracy, 519 U. S. 278, 298, whereas government’s important responsibilities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens set it apart from a typical private business, cf. id., at 313. Moreover, in contrast to laws favoring in-state business over out-of-state competition, which are often the product of economic protectionism, laws favoring local government may be directed toward any number of legitimate goals unrelated to protectionism. Here, the ordinances enable the Counties to pursue particular policies with respect to waste handling and treatment, while allocating the costs of those policies on citizens and businesses according to the volume of waste they generate. The contrary approach of treating public and private entities the same under the dormant Commerce Clause would lead to unprecedented and unbounded interference by the courts with state and local government. The Counties’ citizens could have left the entire matter of waste management services for the private sector, in which case any regulation they undertook could not discriminate against interstate commerce. But it was also open to them to vest responsibility for the matter with their government, and to adopt flow control ordinances to support the government effort. It is not the office of the Commerce Clause to control the voters’ decision in this regard. The Court is particularly hesitant to interfere here because waste disposal is typically and traditionally a function of local government exercising its police power. Nothing in the Commerce Clause vests the responsibility for such a policy judgment with the Federal Judiciary. Finally, while the Court’s dormant Commerce Clause cases often find discrimination when the burden of state regulation falls on interests outside the State, the most palpable harm imposed by the ordinances at issue–more expensive trash removal–will likely fall upon the very people who voted for the laws, the Counties’ citizens. There is no reason to step in and hand local businesses a victory they could not obtain through the political process. Pp. 10-13.

  • St. Halsey December 29th, 2009 | 9:44 pm

    Cville Eye- once again I have read your link and nowhere do I see the use of the term “political manner”. Please provide it or anyone else who can follow the link find and point it out.
    there is however the courts advice to Van de Linde.
    “Van der Linde’s proper mode of redress for this kind of grievance is to challenge the Authority’s policy by engaging the political process or using state channels for review of municipal governance, not by filing an equal protection lawsuit in federal court. For these reasons, the district court’s judgment of dismissal is AFFIRMED.” That is a plain and simple rebuff of all that Van deLinde claimed in his suit. That means Van de Linde needs to elect someone who agrees with him or get the Supervisors/Councilman to change their minds. That puts it all on Van de Linde. HE needs to alter the political process if HE wants change. Do you read something else? The courts said NOTHING about the politicans doing anything since the RWSA and the localities had done NOTHING wrong.

    Cville Eye you have distorted the very link you cite by saying the courts said it was a political matter,they did not. You have distorted the quote and misused it. You can tell me I need civics and can’t do high school work but you have displayed a singular ability distort the simple of phrase to make a point that does not exist in the site you quote. I guess that really does prove you spent way too much time listening to politicans that you have now have begun to sound like one.

  • Cville Eye December 29th, 2009 | 9:50 pm

    @St. Halsey, I gave you TWO links.

  • St. Halsey December 30th, 2009 | 12:40 am

    Cville Eye, you’re kidding right? You seriously want anyone to think that the second link to the Schilling show is the same as the digest of the very Virginia Supreme Court case we were discussing. That second link is a statement by Van der Linde to the RSWA and reprinted by Schilling which is this:

    “Ironically Mr. van der Linde did not lose the suit against RSWA. The court’s opinion was that Mr. van der Linde should “work it out politically” (Mr. van der Linde is still not sure exacty what “work it out politically” meant).”

    Um in a word Mr. Van der Linde, NO, according the quote I used from Cville Eye’s own article says that Van der Linde did lose (The court affirmed the ruling of the lower court where Van de Linde had already lost)and further more you can read the “work it out politically” in it’s original form. That Mr. Van de Linde doesn’t understand what the court meant is perplexing to say the very least. The fact he can lucidly assert “he did not lose” is disturbing.

    Honestly Cville Eye, the blankness of your response and it’s reliance on the echo chamber of Van de Linde rambling self-defense is so demure that I ask again how you could make the claims before, so unsupported by your own facts. I’m not talking about flow control but the fees that Van de linde did not pay. The courts have rebuked Van de Linde course of judicial review to defend his 14th amendment rights because of tipping fees, its really wrong to pretend otherwise.

  • Jeff December 30th, 2009 | 5:33 am

    This is a case of lawyers run AMUCK !

    @ST. Jonathan Halsey, and I believe you are the real Jonathan Blank.

    You can argue your case all you want, but there is NO evidence that Van der Linde did anything wrong, your only witness is in jail, and you are making a boatload of money for yourself and McGuireWoods. Even more, now that your partner, Kurt Krueger has convinced the board to make it a RICO suit. You will lose this case, but I don’t think you care because, the only reason this suit is being pursued is on the advice of your partner Kurt Krueger who also will make gobs of money, as will McGuireWoods. This is taxpayer money and it is a total misuse of our funds, and anyone involved in this miscarriage of justice will ultimately feel the wrath of the public. There are a handful of officials that support this and the community does not.

    RSWA lost over $700,000 this year and now they will lose millions more on top of that, because they are allowing you to pursue this stupid lawsuit against a local businessman.

  • Betty Mooney December 30th, 2009 | 7:55 am

    This is a lively and interesting discussion, but let’s step back and try to analyze what’s really going on. This is about money and business. RSWA claims they are trying to re-coup money for taxpayers, that Mr. Van der Linde owes. How does this make sense if they are spending more money on lawyers, than they will receive, even if they do win the case, which is not assured by any means.

    As far as business, the RSWA is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars as a direct result of the competition of Van der linde Recycling. As a business move, I believe, they want to eliminate or take over their competition. That’s what businesses do. They are doing this, not with private money but with public money . They have no plan ready to go that would provide recycling, and, therefore; at this time would offer an inferior service to the public.

    The lawyers do stand to make a great deal of money form this suit, but; they too are businessmen, and that is what they do, make money for themselves and their business.

    I contend, with many others, that the only way to bring about change and provide better, more environmentally sound trash service, to all our residents, is to co-operate with Van der Linde Recycling, something that RSWA is unwilling to do.

    The best alternative, I can see, is to convince our elected representatives to drop this lawsuit, which does nothing, but put money into the pockets of the lawyers, who are legitimately acting in their own self-interest.

    The chain of responsibility is the RSWA board, on advise of their counsel, voted for this lawsuit to go forward.

    The RSWA board is appointed and serves at the pleasure of the elected representatives.

    The public needs to contact their elected representatives if they are against this lawsuit and want RSWA to co-operate and use Van der Linde Recycling, for our trash, and not send it to a landfill.

    The next City Council meeting is Monday Jan 4th sign up to speak at 6:30pm

    The next BOS meeting is Wednsday Jan 6th 9am County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, sign up to speak at 8:45am

    E-mail your representatives to stop this lawsuit before any more of our money is wasted.

  • snowjob December 30th, 2009 | 9:43 am

    This has gone on long enough. The people who appoint these people need to be the ones held accountable. They are the ones who need to feel the heat and have their jobs on the line for making and allowing bad decisions.

    This is no Differnet than Obama being responsible for Naploiano saying “everything worked perfectly” He straightned her out and our elected officials need to do the same.

    Send in your email and put their feet to the fire.

    The real question they need to ask themselves is “how is this fight with van der lindh HELPING the taxpayers?”

    Show us some projections out ten years and tell us whether we will have more recycling for less money or not.

    I don’t care if Sanford and Son haul the trash so long as I get maximum recycling and a reasonable price.

    The tipping fee was just another tax that was supposed to be included in the property taxes anyway. This is just an end run around property tax increases.

  • St. Halsey December 30th, 2009 | 11:50 am

    If I’m a partner of a major law firm somebody better come across with my year end bonus rather quickly. I didn’t know who the heck Jonathan Blank was till I read this very post, never met the man. I’m guessing I could promise that I have never studied for the bar, taken the bar, gone to law school or work in or for the legal community but whatever.

    Even if I was a lawyer, so what, it doesn’t change the fact that while Van de Linde may not be guilt of a crime (because of the lax control of BFI and criminal lack of oversight by the RWSA) he isn’t a wide eyed innocent being beat down by the man. He engaged in a lawsuit against RWSA that cost ratepayers $100,000’s ending in every court’s rejection of his suit, they all but called it without merit. Where is the outrage for that lawsuit? Does anyone on this board want some of their money back from VdL?

    VdL after spending plenty on these legal fees said he didn’t pay the very tipping fees he knew he owed only because he wasn’t asked. That is my evidence of what Van de Linde did wrong. VdL has reasonable defense and he may not be guilty of a crime- just don’t say he’s innocent. Like the example of Best Buy not collecting your sales tax when you made a purchase. It’s really Best Buy’s fault but you still owed that sale tax- there is just no legal way to get it back. VdL can’t use the excuse that he didn’t look at the receipt when he left the store as a defense however.

    Having said all that I wouldn’t be upset if VdL and the RWSA came to an agreement and settled this. His recycling process is something that really seems to have merit and if he can put the RWSA out of business in solid waste that’s fine by me.

  • Betty Mooney December 30th, 2009 | 12:03 pm

    Where is your outrage St.Halsey that BFI was the only trash hauler that didn’t have to pay the tipping fee to thje RSWA ? And where is your outrage about this ?

    a direct quote from Lonnie Wood rrported in the Hook by Dave McNair:

    In 2005, seven years after the RSWA inked a deal with a firm called Allied Waste (then BFI and now part of a publicly held company called Republic Services) to send area waste to Allied’s waste station in Zion Crossroads, RSWA officials learned that Allied employees were “completely unaware” of their duty to collect a $16 “service contribution fee” for the Authority every time in-district (i.e. Charlottesville and Albemarle) waste crossed company scales.

    “Proper charging and accounting of customers has been inaccurately managed,” RSWA finance director Lonnie Wood told Allied officials in a November 2005 letter. “[T]here has been and continues to be a breach of contact.”

    Wood chafed that Allied kept customer accounts directly with area haulers, including Van der Linde, in violation of its RWSA contract, and he said the Authority was “prepared to take legal action.”


  • Betty December 30th, 2009 | 12:09 pm

    I hope the elected officials realize the community is overwhelmingly against this lawsuit.

  • Cville Eye December 30th, 2009 | 12:33 pm

    @St. Halsey, now that you have found the quote, find the document from which it is an exerpt. I’M NOT DOING YOUR WORK FOR YOU. I can tell you’ve been on this blog before. I believe you are a lawyer and a loyal Democrat who feels she must support judgments made by any Democrat. Since your brain is working like your namesake’s hotel downtow, I don’t care to waste my time with another go-around with you. You are lazy.

  • Cville Eye December 30th, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    Well, when the fund-raisers ask me for money for the YMCA, I will refer them to McGuire, Woods.

  • St. Halsey December 30th, 2009 | 1:18 pm

    Betty I’m not sure what you are even asking. BFI legally didn’t have to pay- what’s your point? That was a business deal made by the RWSA and BFI.I might not like it but it wasn’t illegal.

    Sorry Betty but your use of Allied not knowing is trumped by VdL himself who said in this very thread “Rarely was the question of origin even asked by BFI”. Rarely means it was asked and BFI did know and so did VdL. He knew he should be paying the tipping fee, the fact BFI/Allied didn’t collect it doesn’t change that.

    As a ratepayer I think that the RSWA didn’t use proper oversight on their agreement with BFI/Allied. Further that BFI failed in it’s agreement with RSWA by not collecting the tipping fees. And finally VdL knew he wasn’t paying the tipping fee that he fought so hard to eliminate by an expensive lawsuit. They all share blame. Can we at the very least agree on that?

    I will ask again, were you outrage by VdL costly lawsuit against the RWSA? Do you think that VdL is at fault at all?

    To Cville Eye: you call me lazy when I have use your own quotes to prove you can’t back up your assertions- that is changing the subject when you can’t win. Insulting me will not change the facts you misquoted the very links you used to make a false point. Your craven nashing of teeth is a testament to a closed mind who will never admit a mistake or the possibility that their dearly held beliefs might be wrong. Doing work for ME?? that’s pretty funny of you to say when you’re not even doing the work for yourself. Just when your about to lose the ball game, you decide to pick up your ball and go home.

    Well goodbye then Cville Eye and comeback when you are up to finishing what you started.

  • Cville Eye December 30th, 2009 | 2:14 pm

    Oh, I’m not going home, I’m juust not playing with you. “Further that BFI failed in it’s agreement with RSWA by not collecting the tipping fees” Clearly, RSWA should be suing Allied/BFI in order to prove that BFI wasn’t collecting the money and keeping it. It had a business relationship with BFI, not the other trash haulers. The trash haulers had no obligation to assure that BFI fulfill the terms of its contract with RSWA.
    Betty and Betty Mooney, you’re just wasting your time.

  • snowjob December 30th, 2009 | 2:22 pm

    If Best Buy does not charge me tax then the state will NEVER send me a bill for the money.

    They will chase Best Buy. I am under no leagal obligation to tell best buy they need to do their job, they need to pay for their own mistakes, same as if they charged me the wrong price for a tv set.

    If BFI didn’t do their job let them pay the money they didn’t collect and then sue van der lin themselves.

    Of course this won’t work because they DO NOT HAVE ANY PAPERWORK TO BACK UP THEIR CLAIMS.

    If they did we would have seen it by now.

    The government screwed up. Now they want van der lin to pay for their mistakes.

  • St. Halsey December 30th, 2009 | 3:02 pm

    I don’t disagree that RWSA should see if BFI is in breech of contract and it is a reasonable question to ask. Cville Eye do you really think Van de Linde is blameless in all of this? He owed the money and you’re just wrong that the hauler have no part this. Don’t go making stuff up again.

    If the hauler weren’t liable the current suit would be thrown out of court. The sales tax example is a good one but it’s not perfect. Just because BFI screwed up doesn’t mean the haulers are without blame. It just might be impossible to get any back tipping fees because of lack of paper work or any way to prove who owes what. That doesn’t meant that the haulers may have pulled a fast one by pocketing the money they would have had to pay in tipping fees. Perhaps this is how VdL was able to pay for his sweet new trash machine that may be putting the RWSA solid waste division out of business.

    That would be ironic

  • Richard Lloyd December 30th, 2009 | 3:12 pm

    van de Linde has already paid. RSWA enacted a fee to be collected by BFI. What nobody is mentioning is that if the source was not Albemarle/Charlottesville the it was classed as Fluvanna generated possibly because BFI is located in Fluvanna. And the Fluvanna rate is higher than Albemarle/Charlottesville including the $16 surcharge.

    So BFI got even more than was owned? If BFI were well run, then they would have to pay RSWA all the fees owed and reimbures van de Linde what they OVERCHARGED.

    Mr. van de Linde provided City Council this information. I wonder if they read it.

  • Cville Eye December 30th, 2009 | 4:22 pm

    “Mr. van de Linde provided City Council this information. I wonder if they read it.” City Council gets a big book of background information almost every two weeks and it is clear that they have not read the material thoroughly. Rarely, if ever, have I heard any of the current Councilors, with the exception of Kristen Szakos, mention any information that was included in their packets during their discussions. Mr. Huja does ask questions about the materials he received to prepare for the joint public hearings Council has with the Planning Commission, however. It appears Council has assigned this problem to David Brown and is following his lead, because party takes precedence of the welfare of the citizens.
    When we had a ffour and a half percent flat sales tax rate, I worked for a while in retail. We never priced an object and then added the sales tax. Nautrally the customers never asked, “Wel, don’t I have to pay sales tax?” It was obvious we included the tax in the marked price. We then multiplied the “price” by 9 and divided by 209 to get the amount of the sales tax The Shop owed. I’m sure the haulers paid what they were charged, too. It was not their business how the RSWA got it’s $16/ton.

  • TJ December 30th, 2009 | 7:07 pm

    If St. Halsey is the RSWA lawyer for this case it’s over. His arguments are ridiculous, and no no one cares that the haulers weren’t asked where the trash came from –they paid their bill and that’s that. And Van der Linde is a hero for standing up to the blatantly stupid arrangement that RSWA made with BFI to give them a free pass, and make all the other haulers pay the $16 dollar fee. Sorry Mr. Blank, if there’s a guilty party here it’s not Van der Linde it’s RSWA/BFI, and you can argue till you’re a blue avatar but no one is convinced by your arguments–in other words you lose the case, but gain millions of our dollars in fees collected. Good business in this economy, I’d say.

  • TJ December 30th, 2009 | 7:28 pm

    And just to be clear –the fees you’ll collect will go to your pocket and McGuireWoods not the taxpayers.

  • TJ December 30th, 2009 | 7:58 pm

    The town is roundly against this suit and will not easily forget the whipping that Mr. Van der Linde is taking from the RSWA lawyers, and the board. People understand that the trash haulers weren’t asked where the trash came from, and they understand there was no paper work to fill out and that BFI billed them and they paid their bills to BFI –no, people do not care if the trash haulers knew BFI was billing for the wrong amount, if they even noticed, it wasn’t their problem and people understand that –end of story Mr. Blank, as I said you are being paid lots of money to argue and argue this ” stupid case” and we’re the losers, thanks to our elected officials. Confidence in our local government has reached an all time low, I feel.

  • city resident December 30th, 2009 | 9:55 pm

    Does anyone know what the cost share between city and county for the MeadowCreek Interceptor will be. Clearly the enlargement is for County growth and should not be paid for by the city ?
    from the article:

    “The board also awarded a $10.8 construction contract to Little Falls, New Jersey-based Metra Industries for the Interceptor, a project cynically seen as enabling the construction of the Albemarle Place development but defended by the Authority as a necessary upgrade.

  • Cville Eye December 31st, 2009 | 2:44 pm

    @city resident http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2007/06/sewer_upgrades.html and make sure you read the title. Supposedly because of its age, it is in bad enough condition to be replaced rather than repaired therefore the city will pay a portion of the cost of the project. I have not read that any agreement as to the city’s share has been made. Why does it need to go from 36″ to 42″ inches is due to county growth, a fact that not even Charlottesville Tomorrow wishes to explore. The city has already helped to upgrade the Moore’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, partially to receive this increase in county flow as well as to modernize the facility and to get rid of the small in Woolen Mills (the city paid $5M itself towards that purpose, paying its way). I never saw published what the city rate payers’ portion of that project ended up being. Now the county rate payers will not be straddle with paying for improvements at the Camelot wasterwater treatment plant. It will be out of service and the sewage from the northern Albemarle County developments (currently Camelot and North Pointe) and those in the future will be piped into this structure.

  • St. Halsey December 31st, 2009 | 3:31 pm

    One last thing since Betty has gone mute- the BFI arrangement to not pay was only for city trash since BFI was the hauler by contract. If this hasn’t been done the the city would have paid a dumping fee to themselves. That deal did not exempt BFI from paying the tipping fee for Albemarle trash. Your outrage should be directed at the city and their accountants,

    So last chance everyone, Is VdL an innocent or does he share some blame for not paying his tipping fees??

  • city resident December 31st, 2009 | 5:05 pm

    Thanks, CvilleEye I agree the City should not pay for the increase in size or the upgrades needed to handle more flow.

    @ St. Halsey–the only person that would care this much about flogging Van der Linde is Jonathan Blank –so much for trying to convince us —this is a ” Stupid Lawsuit” as David Brown said, and a waste of our time reading your lame arguments to try to convince us of the rightness of your case, ( hope someone saves us from this ongoing waste of taxpayer money) Van der linde did what all the haulers in town were doing –paying what their bills told them to pay –you don’t seem to get it, do you, but as someone said the more you argue, the more you bill RSWA –you probably even bill to write these comments–part of the McGuireWoods/Blank PR campaign

  • County Resident January 1st, 2010 | 12:18 pm

    I am an Albemarle County resident and not affiliated with any of the companies or local governments involved. From my perspective, it’s pretty clear what’s going on with the lawsuit, as described in some of the other posts. I’m offended that my tax dollars (via the County’s financial support of RSWA) are being spent on this lawsuit, while our County budgets are facing limited funds. This waste of resources must stop. If you agree, use your consumer dollars to voice your opinion on this issue - use a trash/recycling company that uses the Van der Linde recycling facility. The full list of companies that use the Van der Linde facility is here:

  • Kelly January 1st, 2010 | 1:04 pm

    I also heard on the Rob Schilling show that Jonathan Blank is co-chair of the City Democratic Committee. No wonder David Brown is supporting this suit. This is the problem with one party rule and the voters better find a good candidate that will stand-up to this in the next election, or they will see more of their money wasted on ” stupid lawsuits”, supported by Mr. Brown.

    I disagree with Mr. Schilling on many issues, but everyone I know, Republican, Independent or Democrat thinks this suit is a waste.


  • TJ January 2nd, 2010 | 5:49 am

    Tell me how this company can underbid all local and Virginia companies ? I hope someone is investigating their labor practices.

    “The board also awarded a $10.8 construction contract to Little Falls, New Jersey-based Metra Industries for the Interceptor, a project cynically seen as enabling the construction of the Albemarle Place development but defended by the Authority as a necessary upgrade. According to an Authority memo, the low bid by Metra was literally half what the Authority was expecting to pay for the work.”


  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 2:11 pm

    Personally, I have lost all trust in the people at RSWA and RWSA and would not be surprised at any scandal I hear. I’m just sorry that city and county employees would be embroiled in the mess.

  • Sue January 2nd, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    I agree, many of the people working at these agencies preceed Gaffney and Frederick, and are only doing the best they can. Since these two came on the scene–it’s been nothin but sour grapes. Citizens and reporters, from all news agencies, who have lived in this area for decades, are losing confidence in our elected officials to step into a situation which is an abuse of taxpayer money and a malicious and uneccesary harassment of a private businessman and a public agency ( DEQ). The unfortunate result may be more citizen apathy and an unwillingness to participate in local affairs, because no one is listening, no matter how much information is presented at public meetings to try and stop the abuse of power at RSWA and RWSA.

  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 4:27 pm

    I do think people are listening. They will whisper to you their feelings on the street but they will not say anything publicly. Why? Because there a large number of people who depnd or their family members and friends depend upon their publicly funded jobs. That includes all of the non-profits also. There so many ways that the people can experience retribution: missing a promotion,labeling as a trouble maker, not getting hired, lower evaluations or lower funding. It is clear that we function under an old boy network. It works in the opposite direction, too. Look at how smoothly Kurt Krueger’s YMCA sailded through Council, for example.

  • Sue January 2nd, 2010 | 5:53 pm

    This whole affair- with the water, sewer, and trash authority, has been a real eye-opener for myself and my friends. We were naieve about how things were being done. Call it a loss of innocense, or trust but, with money now so tight, and services and jobs being cut, it is necessary for a citizens group to come forward and demand that people be fired for what has happened, and for the abuse of public money.

  • Bob January 2nd, 2010 | 7:24 pm

    And they’ve spent $340,000 on legal fees suing Van der Linde, according to Dave McNair, surely tens of thousands more by now; that equals at least 12 teacher salaries. What a waste of resources. I agree someone must be held accountable, and my vote is for the Chair, Mike Gaffney.

  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 8:18 pm

    Bob, how can we hold mike Gaffney, a city/county appointee, accountable excep by not buying any of his new homes and not speaking to him (shunning)? I suspect he was just as duped by the same people we have.

  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 8:22 pm

    That is NOT to say that I approved of his re-appointment and said it would be a BIG mistake at the time. Apparently Mayor Norris and others took the lead of David Brown, which means they had not been paying any attention to what was going on with Council before they ran for a seat.

  • Bob January 2nd, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    Cville Eye , in this instance I must disagree. Gaffney came onto the board just at the time that Tropea, former director, was ousted, and he was part of hiring Frederick, as the new director. I think he is the one who gave Frederick his marching orders– get us a huge supply of water, for unlimited growth, for developers, so we’ll never have to deal with this again, and cost is no object, just let the ratepayers foot the bill ( and that means primarily city folks). Now when you hear that the demand study is wrong, and the new dam will supply more than 50 years of water –the battle cry is–great give us 60,70 ,80 –what you never hear is, at what cost. As long as the board, with Gaffney at the helm, has the power to raise rates, their spending power is unlimited.

    At that time, in the Gaffney reign, the former consultant VHB were thrown overboard and Gannett Fleming replaced them. It was also the time when a new demand study was commissioned from G/F to show that the former consultants had underestimated the amount of water needed. I think Gaffney was a major player in pushing dreding aside and working behind the scenes for a much bigger project; initially the James River Pipeline, and when the Moorman’s people railed against that, the 112 foot new dam, going under I64 and necessitating a new pipeline connecting South Fork to Ragged Mt.

    This pretty much says it all –development/water/money

    The Rainmaker
    Michael Gaffney
    Issue #17.25 :: 06/21/2005 - 06/27/2005 Cville

    Michael Gaffney has his hands on Charlottesville’s hottest commodities.

    You want it? Gaffney’s probably got it. In a region where real estate is more valuable than bubblin’ crude, Gaffney Homes builds custom high-end houses in places like Sunrise Farms in Earlysville and Old Ballard Farm in Ivy. The unassuming Gaffney has transposed his business success into political clout—he’s a past president of the National Homebuilders Association, one of the country’s most influential industry groups.

    How about water? Everyone needs water, and Gaffney’s got his hand on that tap, too. Since 2003 he has served as chairman of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, the quasi-public body that manages the city and county’s water supply and sells water to Charlottesville and Albemarle. Gaffney is shepherding the organization through one of the most important stages of its 30-year history, as the Authority seeks a major new expansion of the local water supply.

    Finally, Gaffney is getting a grip on the hottest commodity of all—money. He is a major investor in Sonabank, which will hold its grand opening here in Charlottesville on June 23 at its primary branch in the Forest Lakes shopping center. Gaffney sits on the bank’s board of directors. Sonabank already has raised $35 million in capital and will soon open a branch in Manassas, says bank Vice President Devon Porter. “Mike is tapped in completely,” says Porter. “He has an extensive amount of contacts in Charlottesville.” That may be his most valuable asset of all.—J.B.


  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 9:29 pm

    Thanks, Bob for ferreting this out. It’s interesting that Mayor Norris would so willingly support this fat cat. I’lll have to remember to look for quid pro quo.

  • Kelly January 2nd, 2010 | 9:33 pm

    If the elected officials don’t start bringing in a fresh bunch of leaders of the RSWA and RWSA soon, this period of officialdom will be seen as the most corrupt, inept and wasteful of any in Charlottesville history. I agree with Sue, but think citizens may have no choice but to demand that these organizations be disbanded, and perhaps a lawsuit will be necessary to do that.

  • Cville Eye January 2nd, 2010 | 9:38 pm

    I’ve heard that the RSWA’s agreement is up in June. It will be a tale-tell indication of whether the city has people fit to govern, if they do not renegoatiate the make up or dissolve the RSWA altogether. We’ll know whether the Democratic Party is truly the “party of the people.” Yes, this scandal is history in the making.

  • Bob January 2nd, 2010 | 10:19 pm

    Free Enterprise Forum, Chamber of Commerce, and the Nature Conservancy ( representing the rich and powerful of Western Albemarle) a powerful coalition of forces aligned against the rate-paying citizens –with the battle cry –do it for our grandchildren, no matter what the cost, you owe it to them.

  • Cville Eye January 3rd, 2010 | 1:17 am

    “…do it for our grandchildren…” To sum up and end the whole discussion with this clause shows just how much disdain these characters have for their fellow residents. It also shows how stupid they believe our elected officials are. Our officials apparently have no sense of pride, even personal pride. Then, once again, the voters get exactly what they deserve.

  • Betty Mooney January 3rd, 2010 | 10:43 am

    City Council Meeting, Monday Jan 4th, public comment at 6:30 pm. City Hall. To register your opinion, if you cannot attend e-mail:

  • Cville Eye January 3rd, 2010 | 4:35 pm

    Glad you brought up the Free Enterprise Forum. The other day Williamson of the Free Enterprise was on the Schilling Show when Betty Mooney called in. As usual, Mrs. Mooney had her ducks in a row. Williamson’s rebuttal rested solely in the grand children crap. Then he tried to imply that Mooney’s group’s objections are put forward just for the sake of arguing. Of course his stance seemed childish at best and foolish otherwise. He has long contended that RWSA has enough information, that the water suply proposal was well vetted by the public before the formation of her group, Sand that the RWSA should proceed with its plans. He fails to understand that nobody’s building anything on City property without the city’s consent first.
    A lot of Williamson’s philosophies may be on track but I have never been impressed with his logical reasoning. I also find it interesting that SELC and PEC have become extremely quite on this issue. I suspect they are aware that their previously strong advocacy of the RWSA proposal didn’t help their public image as more information became public. I wonder what tactics the League of Women Voters will take now that Sally Thomas is no longer on the BoS.

  • Downing Smith January 4th, 2010 | 9:02 am

    I don’t know if this is the worst, most crooked time in Charlottesville government. In my grandfather’s time these issues were settled in the smokey basement of a private men’s club. Then there is the Vinegar Hill disaster. I still don’t know what was happening behind the scenes as far as the Omni was concerned and probably never will but I am pretty sure we wouldn’t like it if we knew. I think the big difference is that now people are starting to ask questions and dig for information. This wasn’t the case even a few years ago as shown by the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club where the City gave away public property. I think also the increase use of the internet and the financial collapse have made a difference. It was much easier to hide incompetency when you had double digit increases in property taxes every year. As some people above have said it is time to get active so we don’t get the rubber stamped City Council every time.

  • cookieJar January 4th, 2010 | 10:01 am

    I think you’re on to something there Downing. There’s one small correction I’d like to make to what you wrote though. David Brown has never hidden his incompetency. Miraculously, his fellow councilors were actually paying enough attention to make someone else mayor after he showed just how unsuited he was for leadership. If after all of this he gets re-elected, then that’s a sure sign it’s time for me to find another place to plan for my future.

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