Following a meeting where two board members were called out on bad behavior, Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting was conducted with speed and civility as all the members agreed alternative options must be explored for the spring clean-up.

Darien Environmental Group member Connie Melvin addressed the board about the need to stop the spring clean-up program.

"It's preposterous that in today's economic climate that Darien continues to use a costly program to collect junk," Melvin said.

She pointed out that the money the town spends on the spring clean-up could be used for more worthwhile projects and that having trucks patrolling the streets for trash was a waste of fossil fuels and it pollutes the air.

Republican First Selectman David Campbell said he had talked to the Department of Public Works to begin looking at different options in lieu of having residents pile junk outside their homes.

"I've asked about possibly having the transfer station open on the weekends for free for people to dispose of their junk," Campbell said.

Republican Selectman Jayme Stevenson agreed that the clean-up needed to be changed because she thought it was "an unusual practice." Stevenson said she believed there was a safety issue with having items piled on the side of the road and people who drive along looking for items while kids are walking home from school.

Democratic Selectman David Bayne said he had contacted the police department in the past to see if there were any safety issues with the spring clean-up but nothing was ever reported.

"I'm reluctant to get rid of it [spring clean-up] without a public hearing," Bayne said.

However, Bayne agreed that the town is not aesthetically pleasing during the weeks the spring clean-up program is running.

"Personally, I'm not a big fan of the clean-up," Bayne said, "but there are people who feel this is one of the few free town services that comes right to their door."

Republican Selectman Jerry Nielsen acknowledged that many people treated the spring clean-up like an open tag sale.

"I think the idea of opening the dump without charging people is a great idea," Nielsen said.

Democratic Selectman Callie Sullivan noted that the spring clean-up was "not the best time to be selling a house."

"I would like to hear from the public because I think more people will turn out to argue against it than for it," Sullivan said.

Campbell ended discussion by saying that he has asked to receive information about what other towns do for spring clean-up projects.

Beautification Commission member Bob Baker said the commission has never been in favor of the program because of the opportunities for people to abuse the system.

"It's unfair how people use the system by coming into town and dumping stuff," Baker said.

Baker said the commission is in favor of having days where the dump is open at no charge and possibly having a phone number that residents can call to have heavier items removed.