In his letter to the editor last week, Ian Routledge claimed that the White Rock Council of the day “made the decision to abandon residents living in multi-family buildings by cancelling waste-collection services.”
This statement contained an obvious omission that, if included, would have put the subject into fair context. When strata councils became free to make their own arrangements for garbage collection, the waste collection line item on the building residents’ property tax bills became $0.
Here at Avra, a 94-unit building in the city centre, these collective tax savings more than offset the cost of contracting a private company for waste services. In other words, the new arrangement financially benefited us. Having a business whose motivation is to provide customer service has been a welcome change from the mediocrity of hit-and-miss collection that we were previously subjected to by the city.
We also haven’t had to endure the stench of garbage piling up for weeks throughout the city in the hot summer weather, because the unionized civic workers went on strike. Something that, in fact, has happened in the past.
Reverting back to civic waste collection will cost more money due to capital costs and the lucrative wages and benefits paid to civic workers. These union-employee benefits include pensions that will continue to be a financial liability long after they retire and stop providing a service.
What we need is a mayor and council that has the vision and intelligence not to pander to special interest groups at the tax payers’ expense.
Glen Gerow, White Rock