About 22,000 signatures were needed to stop privatization of Fresno's residential trash service. About 40,000 were collected.
Union leaders and over 200 volunteers have been working tirelessly to place a referendum on the contract with Mid-Valley disposal. They like the city's trash collection the way it is, feel it's a bad deal for the city, and worry that rates could sore, and jobs could be lost.
The Mayor's office has been fighting against the referendum. Both sides began a media blitz stating their cases.
Accusations of voter intimidation and misconduct were lobbed at opponents and supporters alike. It's an issue that's divided the city for years, including the sitting council.
Three times councilmembers voted on residential trash privatization. Each time it narrowly passed by a vote of 4-3.
If the signatures are validated by the city and county clerk, councilmembers will have another opportunity to vote on the contract with Mid-Valley. If the vote doesn't change, they'll have two options.
They can call a special election to be held this summer; costing the city about $1 million. Or the fight can be played out again during the 2014 general election.