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San Bernardino City Move to Table the Motion of Contracting out Refuse Department

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The San Bernardino City Council decided to table a proposal to send out a request regarding refuse services for the city. This discussion has been going on for over two months led by four council members, Chas Kelley, Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia, Wendy McCammack and until recently city attorney, Jim Penman. At the last council meeting, the city attorney changed to a neutral position with two council members leaving the last meeting so they would not have to vote on the matter.

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However at last Mondays meeting, Council member Rikke Van Johnson made a motion to table the issue after a two-hour discussion and received a second from Wendy McCammack and votes of support from Jenkins, Valdivia and Virginia Marques.

I think the wave of support against outsourcing led by Charles Greenwood and other city employees, the ‘Orange Shirt People’ highlighted that refuse is a big asset to the city and if the department was properly managed could bring in more revenue to the city.

I agree with the action of the council. Now they should: evaluate the department from rates paid by citizens and raise them to keep up with the cost of doing business; evaluate the profit margins; look at the percentage of employees that live in the city from that department; look at modern technology to recycle waste as a money making venture; and other ways the employees can contribute to the viability of the city. Once that is done, report the findings to the public.

This is a “quality of life issue” with the citizens of the city because if trash is not picked up, we could have a dirty city, and an environment that attracts and breeds crime.

I commend the council for their action and implore them to look for other ways to save money while evaluating other revenue streams within the authority of the city council.

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