I had to respond to the article (Sept. 15, 2003, Tire Business, ``Scrap Tire Update'') titled, ``Missouri tire fee to expire in 2004.''
According to the article, Dan Fester, chief of the Department of Natural Resources' waste tire unit, is concerned that eliminating the state tire fee may cause Missouri to experience ``a resurgence in illegal dumping.''
The state tire fee has absolutely nothing to do with illegal dumping since it is essentially a tax on new tires sold. In fact, since the government began ``helping'' us years ago to dispose of scrap tires, it created more costs to tire dealers, which we pass on to the consumer.
It's the government that has created illegal dumping problems. Unscrupulous consumers not wanting to pay the disposal fee dump their tires illegally, and guess who picks them out of the ditches? The government!
Each year our local government brings in tires they have removed from various roadsides and pay the scrap tire disposal fee to me. Sounds like the tiger chasing its tail!
The comment by Mr. Fester sounds like someone trying to preserve a created position, all funded by us, the taxpayers.
Blue Springs Service Center
Blue Springs, Mo.
A difference maker
I'm writing to highlight the efforts of Pat Brown, vice president of advertising and communication at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., who is a departing member of the Tire Industry Association's board of directors.
Over the past few years, Pat served as the only manufacturer representative on the board. Think about that. The CEOs of more than 30 independent tire dealerships, retread shops and other critical industry businesses, and there's Pat-sitting at the table, the sole voice representing a manufacturer.
And even more impressive, Pat's tenure came after 80 years of the organization not allowing manufacturers on the board of directors. Pat's actions were, in fact, closely watched by the industry's trade press, other members of the board, by her own company and by the members of the association.
And no one could have handled it better. Pat was critical to the success of TIA.
She was instrumental in the tire industry's efforts regarding the TREAD Act; she served as a liaison between TIA and other industry groups during several negotiations; and she helped the newly merged TIA establish solid support among the industry's manufacturers.
What's more, Pat offered a leading voice in many government affairs issues facing the industry and was successful in committee leadership positions. She handled the delicate situation with grace and made the relations between dealers and manufacturers in our industry better.
So, in 1997 the industry and the association debated: ``Should we allow manufacturers on the board of directors?''
Now, six years later we know the answer. Yes, the industry is a better place when we are inclusive. Yes, both manufacturers and dealers profit when we sit at the same table-not separate ones.
And this all came down to a few people, sitting at one table. Pat Brown was one of those people. TIA will miss her contributions and company.
Ross Kogel Jr.
Director of Marketing
Tire Wholesalers Inc.