6 months ago by Bob Gough
We now have responses from three of the 14 Quincy aldermen regarding the trash and recycling issue. I thank them for taking the time.
I realize that the question of how we dispose of our trash and recyclables is a question which is going to necessitate a change from the current way we do things, and that the current model is unsustainable. I understand that change is at times painful, ugly, and messy; but we can’t continue to stick our heads in the sand and do nothing. We have for two decades provided a service that at its inception was economically viable, but this is no longer the case. I feel the best answer is one which allows for choice and lets people make their own decision as to what is the best solution for their needs.
My proposal is to buy two new trucks to replace the current two we have that are in the worst mechanical shape. I would propose that we raise the cost of trash stickers to $1.50 a sticker which would allow people who currently like and use the city service to continue using what works best for them. The increased revenue from the stickers would be used to gradually replace more of the garbage/recycle fleet as we have the money to do so. Lastly, I would favor raising the franchise fee on private haulers togo along the amount of trash they handle. I think the biggest haulers could probably afford to pay a fee higher than what was proposed initially, however these are the sorts of details that would need to be ironed out by the mayor.
My purpose in writing is to provide clarity for the people I represent in the 7th ward on my thoughts for this problem. I have received numerous calls and emails on this topic; most people like what they have, and understand that they will have to pay more for the level of service they currently enjoy. The people I represent have also expressed that they want this problem fixed and are not looking for a temporary Band-Aid for this problem. In that spirit I as an elected official have made choices and voted in a way that at times has put me at odds with some in my party, and those who think that raising taxes is never appropriate. I personally feel raising taxes or fees should always be a last resort rather than a first option; however in this specific case based on the input I have received from my constituents I feel it is appropriate. My primary concern is for the people I represent in the 7th ward, and what is good for our great city.