According to an article not posted on-line as of yet, but which appears in today’s printed version of the Asbury Park Press, it seem that Middletown is considering eliminating fall brush pick-up.
According to the article, Ted Maloney Middletown’s Director of Public Works, said that all 36 employees of the DPW have been spending their time collecting leaves and brush this year after the horrible winter we had and have not been able to devote much time at all to other duties like paving roads, repairing drain pipes (like the one outside my house, where the road has collapsed) or maintaining various buildings and grounds around town. The elimination of the fall brush pick-up would then allow employees to concentrate on their efforts in those areas once they have finished collecting leaves and brush that remain scattered around the township later this month.
But of course the mayor can’t make this decision alone, he has to figure out how best to get residents reactions first – should it be discussed at a future public meeting or pose it as a question in the Townships newsletter Middletown Matters? Here’s an idea, how about placing another “Suggestion Box” on the townships website if you don’t wish to engage the public directly like so many other issues that effect the town.
Leaf pick-ups this fall, as of right now, will go on as scheduled but the township will be collecting bids shortly from contractors in an attempt to privatize the service (privatizing the leaf and brush pick-ups has been something that Committeeman Sean Byrnes as been advocating for sometime now). But of course, before any contracts are awarded the mayor has to first see if it makes sense to privatize the service or continue to pick-up leaves in-house.
Committeeman Byrnes was mentioned as saying that he believes the savings from privatizing the collections will come from being able to further downsize the township’s labor force, which will save the township the cost of salaries, health and pension benefits.
Mayor Scharfenberger counters that privatizing my not be a good idea unless additional employees can be eliminated, which he seems to doubt, because those individuals do more than just pick-up leaves and brush around town and that would just make the cost of privatizing an additional expense to the tax payers.
That may or may not be so, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But one thing is for sure, if Scharfenberger or one of the other members of the majority proposed the idea of privatizing the collection of leaf and brush instead of Sean Byrnes, it would have been touted as a great idea and implemented as soon as possible.
I am curious to hear what Scharfenberger has to say about what the recommendations made by the Governor’s Commission on Privatization had to say about privatizing motor vehicle inspections, public parks, tolls and road and whatever else is in their report.
I am sure that it will all be marvelous to him and will show to others what a great governor Christie is turning out to be. Ironic isn’t it?