Big problems have been found lurking with the garbage bureaucrats in the magnificent Ozarks, and now there’s a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Holiday Island! The city has tried to run one man out of business by forcing residents to use a government-owned competitor, all in violation of our Arkansas Constitution. Yet another case of government bureaucracy vs. the small business owner.
Could this sleepy little lakeside community located five miles north of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, sitting right on the edge of scenic Table Rock Lake, have a corrupt local government overseeing the area? You decide…
Steven Hedrick, owner of X Dumpsters, rents out roll-off dumpsters to customers and then disposes of the contents… but a City of Holiday Island ordinance passed in April of last year requires all residents to contract with a specially chosen government entity for regular solid waste services. That entity is now the exclusive provider for all solid waste disposal in the city limits, meaning that no other solid waste haulers can pick up and dispose of waste.
Steven gets plenty of calls from customers who need his help, but now he has to turn them down, and he is barely making ends meet. Each week, he gets multiple calls from customers who want to rent his dumpsters, but he can’t help them because the authoritian government is running Steven out of business by forcing residents on the island to use a government-owned competitor.
That suspicious government entity is none other than Carroll County Solid Waste District (CCSW), and nobody else can pick up and dispose of solid waste but them! Yes, the mob loves trash and waste disposal and want to keep it all to themselves. We’ve had trouble with this local band of bureaucrats before…
“The city has prohibited me from doing business,” Steven says. “You shouldn’t have to ask permission to put food on your table. Every day that I’m not allowed to do this actually hurts me long-term.”
“All my eggs are in this basket for the rest of my life,” Steven added. “There is no other alternative.”
“Everyone has a right to earn a living.”
We totally agree with Steven. Here’s a picture of him next to a few of his dumpsters:
Some history: On April 19, 2022, the City of Holiday Island passed Ordinance 2022-004 REQUIRING that all residents and businesses that have water utilities provided by the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District to contract for trash pick-up with the Carroll County Solid Waste District (CCSW), and the mayor insists it must be followed.
This glossy folded flyer apparently was sent to Holiday Island residents in early June of 2022 to notify them of this.
But the ordinance clearly violates several provisions of our state constitution, including its prohibition on monopolies and its protections for the right to earn a living.
Steven is a small business owner, and the passage of this ordinance is destroying his livelihood. He’s made several calls about the ordinance to city officials, including the code enforcement officer, the district manager, and even the mayor, trying to get clarification on the wording of the ordinance and what they’re saying he is and isn’t allowed to do regarding his business.
We wanted to include some examples of what Steven has been going through, so here are examples written by him for you to read:
The first thing I’m sending is from Green Forest and it is a summons after renting a dumpster on Highway 62 of Green Forest.
According to the ordinance, it specifically says that the ordinance was not construed to prevent homeowners or business owners from getting rid of waste when the contractor (Carroll County Solid Waste) could not or would not.
The contractor could not serve these people on time, and they asked me to serve them. But the court did not care that there was an exception in their own ordinance when their contractor could not supply service.
Nor did they care that in their own ordinance it required business or homeowners to clean up any potential health risks before vacating such property which was the incidence in this case because the business was vandalized and there was water damage everywhere and they needed to clean it up before they left the property.
Needless to say, I lost the case, despite any evidence that I presented that I was lawfully able to provide service under the conditions.
The code enforcement officer in that case was David Orr, badge number 220.
The judge in that case was Dale Ramsey, and I ended up paying $110 fine.
Term End Date: 12/31/2024
Steven also shared the following pieces of information:
A letter from Dan Kees, Mayor of the City of Holiday Island, to Steven Hedrick/ X Dumpsters notifying that the city passed Ordinance 2022-004 making trash collection mandatory in Holiday Island and designating the Carroll County Solid Waste District as the sole service provider
A letter from Aaron Hoyt, Holiday Island code enforcement officer, to Steven Hedrick/ X Dumpsters, serving as a reminder that his services are no longer needed or allowed… because of the ordinance.
Here are some audio files of phone calls to city officials that Steve shared with us. When you click the links, the file will download to your computer because it’s an audio file (WMA).
11-minute call between code enforcement officer Aaron Hoyt and Steven Hedrick; Steven is explaining to Aaron that there is no grievance because there are no issues with X Dumpsters according to the ordinance.
30-minute call on 11/29/22 between CCSW Executive Director George Boatright and Steven Hedrick with disagreements about what’s allowed and not allowed based on U.S. case law and the city ordinance. Listen for yourselves the authoritative and sometimes condescending tone of George Boatright towards Steven.
15-minute file of Steven reaching out to the mayor and discussing the ordinance and what it does and doesn’t allow. The mayor says he was waiting to hear from their attorney.
Are you aware that the mayor of the city of Holiday Island, Dan Kees, sits on the board of Carroll County Solid Waste (CCSW)? This is a clear conflict of interest! (George Boatright mentions this about Mayor Kees in his phone call with Steven linked in the bullet point above.) Doesn’t there need to be a FOIA between the city of Holiday Island and CCSW to see what kind of agreements have been made?
Shown below is the map of Regional Solid Waste Management Districts in Arkansas from the ADEQ site:
If you click on the link to that map, you’ll notice this info towards the bottom:
See who the Chairman is for Carroll County Solid Waste? You may remember the name Mayor Tim McKinney of Berryville. He can’t just be an elected official because he wants to keep his fingers in the pie of waste management, too:
Term End Date: 12/31/2026
Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney was also the 2021-2022 Arkansas Municipal League President. Wow, this man gets around!
Here are the Board Members of Carroll County Solid Waste (CCSW):
Chair – Mayor Tim McKinney
Vice Chair – Mayor Butch Berry of Eureka Springs
Secretary/Treasurer – Mayor Jerry Carlton of Green Forrest
Member-at-large – former Carroll County Judge Sam Barr
Member-at-large – Doug Taylor
April Shaw – the business manager of Carroll County Solid Waste (CCSW)
Phil Jackson of Eureka Springs – the Executive Director of CCSWA (He was involved with the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste Management District (OMSWMD) illegal trash tax)
Remember the past Ozark Mountain Solid Waste Management District Board?
Tim McKinney was on that board, also. See this past article: Extortion in Arkansas! Tax Increase – Trash Tax for 6 Counties in Northern Ark.
And read a past example from March 2018 of suspicious activities from some of these players: Extortion in Arkansas – Tax Increase Part 3 AND ACTION ITEM!
That stinking trash tax was unconstitutional! Solid waste sure is a lucrative business for the trash bureaucrats.
Now, back to the subject of Holiday Island…
You’re also probably thinking the same thing we’re thinking: just because a city (like Holiday Island) passes an ordinance doesn’t mean it’s fair or constitutional. In fact, in this case, Holiday Island’s Ordinance 2022-004 is CLEARLY UNfair and UNconstitutional. The ordinance unapologetically supports a monopoly, and are you aware that the Arkansas State Constitution clearly forbids that, and it explains WHY?
Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors ever be granted or conferred in this State.
There it is!
So, what is the genius of a republic? Well, healthy competition for one thing, and the freedom to choose how a person makes a living to support themselves and their families.
Competition in business is necessary and healthy for our communities: it not only fosters innovation; it also encourages companies to create products and services that people value… and at prices they can afford. And besides that, consumers need options.
So, what fosters healthy competition? Freedom, a desire or a need for something, and a vision. Not force, coercion, or monopoly.
The freedom to compete and to create healthy businesses and communities is part of the backbone of our nation. Many of our founding fathers were entrepreneurs and small business owners, enjoying the economic freedom that comes with it, and they not only shaped our country politically; they shaped it economically.
Competition leads to greater advances in many areas, and it helps bring costs DOWN and service UP. If one business is failing in a certain area, say customer service, we have the freedom to confront them about it… and/or possibly seek the products or services of a different business elsewhere, if we choose. This is freedom of choice, and it’s healthy and wise.
Competitive business environments demand that each firm attempts to address consumers’ concerns, such as product quality, price, and functionality. These pressures generally result in companies producing innovative products and attempting to offer lower prices, directly benefiting the consumer.
The alternative to healthy competition and choices is having only ONE provider for your product or service, like Carroll County Solid Waste. But… what’s to keep that one provider from incrementally running up the price until it goes through the roof? Or what if they’re not meeting the needs and requests of the community, especially in a timely manner during certain times as has already happened in the past with CCSW?
As the quote goes: “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
No, thank you.
It’s simply not necessary to have only one company contracted to collect solid waste or even trash, even in a city as small as Holiday Island, despite what the mayor says.
What’s needed? A genuinely competitive marketplace, as that remains the best restraint on big business and government bureaucracy, especially in this changing age.
So… in Steven’s case, as you can probably imagine, he was becoming extremely frustrated trying to handle this whole situation by himself with the City of Holiday Island basically telling him to cease providing solid waste removal services/ dumpsters. Put yourself in his shoes: what if you’d invested your hard-earned money into a promising business venture that offered a needed service to help the local community, and you could earn money doing it? So, you got busy doing just that, and then suddenly, your ability to help people, help the community, and support yourself was snatched out from under you… by government bureaucrats, no less.
It’s ridiculous and wrong.
So, what did he do about the issue when he didn’t get anywhere after making several phone calls, often leaving multiple voicemails, and having discussions and disagreements with city personnel and even Carol County Solid Waste over the phone about this? He filed this complaint on August 22, 2023 against the City of Holiday Island. (You can read the unconstitutional ordinance in the 33-page document.)
So, there is good news! Steven found someone to take his case: The Goldwater Institute is suing the city of Holiday Island for trampling on Steven’s constitutional liberties. Yay! This national organization is defending Steven’s individual liberty and standing up for him.
Steven explains more in this short 4-minute video:
As Steven himself typed in the comments on the video linked above,
“Wish me and the Goldwater Institute good luck. For some reason, the local government thinks they are exempt from the Constitution. Apparently they don’t realize that the constitution was written to protect us from them.”
In closing, as you can see, Steven Hedrick has been through a lot with this, but he is still standing strong. He should be an inspiration to others facing similar problems with government officials!
We believe his case will prevail! Please keep him in your prayers.
Corruption in government MUST be dealt with quickly because it violates public trust.
Stand up and speak up, dear readers!
Liberty and responsibility are some of the principles upon which our nation was founded.
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image credit for cover image