stickerThe Rivanna Solid Waste Authority‘s (RSWA) ongoing attempts to crush private-sector competitor, Van der linde Recycling, get curiouser and curiouser by the moment. And all ventures to obtain clarification of the Authority’s ambitions leave us feeling as though we are “among mad people.”

After referencing the phrase, “flow control,” frequently and commonly during their 9/22/09 monthly meeting, RSWA apparently no longer wishes to be associated with that anti-competitive concept—at least not publicly (and certainly not until after the November elections have transpired).

On 10/5/09, WINA news posted the following story to their web site:


At 8:13 AM on the same date, Mary Knowles, RSWA executive secretary, responded to WINA news with the following email request:

Concerning your website article entitled “RSWA Ponders Flow-Control Ordinance for Local Garbage,” Sentence 1 is not correct and needs to be removed for accuracy.+ RSWA is NOT developing a flow control ordinance.

Thank you for your quick response in correcting the article.

What to make of this cryptic request? The Schilling Show twice beseeched Ms. Knowles’ clarification:

Hi Mary,

Can you please clarify the following:

1) Was a flow-control proposal made at the 9/22 RSWA meeting?

2) If so, has the proposal been tabled?

3) Can you please clarify the RSWA’s current position on flow-control and how it has changed since the discussion at the 9/22 meeting.

Perhaps late, for a very important date, Mary Knowles did not personally acknowledge receipt, but instead, after request #2, punted to RSWA’s Tom Frederick for replication. On 10/6/09, he wrote:

We communicated with your Rob Graham yesterday and he revised WINA’s web news article.+ The Board has discussed several ideas but has not yet made any decisions or developed a proposal.+ Since there is not a proposal, there is no proposal to table.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation! And still, we’re confused. If “flow control” was not “proposed” at the 9/22/09 RSWA meeting, then how did it happen to be deliberated recurrently during that event?

Maybe a definition of the word, “proposal,” is in order. According to the Random House Dictonary:


/prəˈpoʊzəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pruhpoh-zuhl] Show IPA


  1. the act of offering of suggesting something for acceptance, adoption, or performance.
  2. a plan or scheme proposed.

Is it possible that, as Tom Frederick states, “there is no proposal”? Well, listen to RSWA board member, Mark Graham, at the 9/22/09 meeting, thoroughly explain “flow control” to befuddled fellow board member, David Brown (audio below).

Now, was there really “no proposal,” RSWA? That claim, to cite the Mock Turtle, “sounds uncommon nonsense.”

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Rob Schilling is founder of the multi-award-winning Schilling Show Blog and News, proprietor of Schilling Show Media; host of both the Schilling Show Unleashed Podcast and WINA's The Schilling Show heard weekdays at noon; husband; father; worship leader, Christian recording artist and Community Watchdog.

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