City shouldn't be in the garbage business
Mike Dowdy, Guest columnist
Regarding the response by Don Hall to my last letter, permit me to tell the "rest of the story." As memory serves me, he served on two councils, and he attempted to put Hartselle back in the garbage business on both of the councils he served on. On both of those same councils, this issue didn't pass. It wasn't feasible. Once again, the people of Hartselle should have decided this.
The two councils he served on used discipline in spending and built a "nest egg" so that the people of Hartselle could have some improvements. Now the nest egg has been "cracked and scrambled" because of garbage. The money could have been used towards street repair, or a water treatment plant, (so that we wouldn't be drinking water from the Tennessee river), or maybe a third fire station, just to name a few.
I might not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but I surely am not the dimmest. What happens when an elderly person falls and breaks a hip while dragging a container to the roadside? What happens when a motorists swerves to miss a container that has "Property of the City of Hartselle" on it and is involved in an accident? Many other hypothetical situations come to mind on how the city could and should be held liable for uncontrollable situations.
There is no benefit for the city when the cost exceed the services. Cities from all over Alabama and other states are contracting city services out, all the while, saving millions of dollars. Our mayor ordered three trucks, got two, and one of them wasn't "work ready" when it came in. By observing the practice sessions of the workers and the equipment, it appears that it will take two if not three people per truck to pick up garbage. Two to operate the equipment, one to follow behind and stand the containers up.
Additionally, when you use equipment twice as much as Mr. Hall stated it wears out twice as fast.
Instead of freeing up two employees, we hired three. In five years, those three new employees will cost the taxpayers well over a half million dollars. The equipment, (trucks), will have exceeded their life expectancy. If there is still three operable trucks at that time, they could be called Snap, Crackle and Pop.
Whoever is serving on that council at that time will be faced with the dilemma to either dig the hole we are in deeper or to get out.
The logical approach to this was to simply upgrade some of the yard waste equipment and not be exorbitant in spending.
This mayor and council is much ado about nothing except spending money!
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