Lake County commissioners trade barbs again over trash pickup

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

A war of words involving two Lake County commissioners is taking place online over a new solid waste contract for countywide trash pickup.

It isn't the first time county commission Chair Leslie Campione and Vice Chairman Jimmy Conner have squared off.

The disagreement could have a major impact on taxpayers. Trash collection is expensive.

The fight over trash pickup across Lake County has gotten personal, too.

Conner and three other commissioners approved a contract with new vendors.

Campione wanted to scrap that deal and start over. Most of the spat is online.

The Conner Report website accused Campione of "cronyism, favoritism, and protection of special interests."

"It's ridiculous. It's a ridiculous assertion," Campione said.

The Citizens for Better Government blog, which supports Campione's' position on this issue, cited sources that questioned the "ethics, procedures, and possible criminality of the selection process."

Campione and Conner have sparred before, at a meeting in July. They exchanged insults over a tax hike to maintain county parks.

Conner says his vote on the solid waste contract will ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars. Campione counters that residents won't like trash pickup being cut from two days a week to just one.

"We're talking about, in my opinion, a real reduction in service the people in Lake County get," Campione said.

Campione says the blog that questioned the trash vendor selection process and criticized Conner has just as often taken swipes at 'her.

She insists its publishers are not her cronies.