You know what they say about assumptions, right? Well, I guess that’s why I shouldn’t have openly assumed  that everything would be cleared up after last night’s Peninsula Neighborhood association meeting about their trash pickup.

The meeting was meant to discuss the neighborhood’s push to return their trash pickup to the alley, following a request by the city to switch pickup to the street.  However, after receiving an e-mail from Chip Northrup, a Peninsula Neighborhood resident, on Tuesday night I posted that it looked like alley service would soon be resumed to the PN.

Northrup’s e-mail said that a majority of residents in the neighborhood voted on the city’s ballots to keep alley service in their area, so service would resume as soon as all code violations were cleared up. It looks like we were both wrong.

According to an e-mail from Scott Nelson, PN resident, Mary Nix, director of sanitation services, “informed those in attendance at the meeting this evening that a majority is not the threshold which must be met for the resumption of alley service. Rather, she stated that ‘at least 75.1%’ of ballots returned must vote for alley service to represent a ‘preponderance’ of the neighborhood wishes to change the ‘existing policy.’”

Read more after the jump.

Nelson also noted that it seemed that “one occurrence of ‘restricted alley’ in a three block section would prevent resumption of alley service.” So, if the trucks can’t make it through all three blocks of the alley, alley service won’t be reinstated.

This 75% threshold seems to come as a surprise to most.

Northrup, who did not attend the meeting, said “Ms. Nix invented the 75% requirement out of thin air when she saw the majority wanted a resumption of service…So this latest invention fits a pattern of misrepresentations by Ms. Nix, which were, of course intended to deceive."

When I spoke to Nix about the ballot previously, she never mentioned a specific number the neighborhood was required to reach, though I finished the conversation with the impression that a majority would suffice.

I put a call into Nix and will post again when I get the city’s side of the story. Stay tuned to Back Talk for more.

Editor’s note: Freelancer Elizabeth Elliott’s story "Alley oops?" will appear in the April Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate. This blog series expands on the piece.

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