City should share the pain of its residents

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I generally keep my frustrations to myself when it comes to governmental behavior, but Suffolk City government’s recent mandate to cancel free bulk waste pickup has forced me to speak up. Councilman Charles Parr purports to be a local businessman, and he campaigned on the assertion that he would make better decisions, based on his business experience, than his opponent. I believed him, and he has clearly disappointed me since that election.

Why did City Council cancel free bulk waste disposal without a corresponding reduction in Public Works personnel? I would gladly pay the extra fees for this service, had there been a corresponding reduction in personnel. But council cut service and maintained personnel levels and pay schedules. Could Parr Funeral Home survive by cutting services to area residents while maintaining a full staff? Of course not. Who would allow this to occur? Only Suffolk City Council.

Unemployment continues to rise, along with static or decreasing pay schedules in the civilian sector. And yet the city maintains pay and all major benefits while cutting services. What are those folks doing for the taxpayer, now that they are no longer picking up bulk refuse? In reality, the workers have less to do now than before July 1.

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I work, pay taxes and own rental property. Why should a renter now pick up any broken limbs or other trash around my rental property? What can they do with it? Why would any renter care, since they can’t get the trash picked up, anyway? How can this not affect property values?

It no longer appears that the City Council has the best interests at heart of the folks who work, own property and pay taxes around Suffolk. Instead, members pander to those in the city government who want to ensure government largesse continues unabated as an extension to our welfare system. I, for one, do not support this brazen attempt to promulgate the Cuffee-Glenn version of sharing the wealth.

As I stated, I work, pay taxes and vote. You can bet that if this slap in the face is not addressed, then I am going to actively campaign to remove Councilman Parr, and it doesn��t matter who runs against him, because they couldn’t do a worse job. I am disgusted that the City Council would ask residents of Suffolk to shoulder this additional burden without demonstrating that the city government is sharing the pain.