Village Of Whitesboro Votes To Collect Its Own Garbage
Village of Whitesboro, NY (WIBX) - The Village of Whitesboro voted last night to not renew its contract with Scully Sanitation. The vote was 4 to 1. Trustees voted to take up garbage collection for the village by purchasing a new sanitation truck and hiring a part-time employee for the job instead. Mayor Brenda D. Gilberti, the only trustee who voted no on the measure, says she's not comfortable with the proposal.
Gilberti said, "Our tentative budget needs to be done by March 20th, so I would like to see where we are before we spend $100,000 on a piece of equipment and going to another business that we're not sure of. You know, there are many unknowns and my fear is ... I just want the taxes to go down and I don't think now is the time to purchase things."
She says the proposal itself shows a substantial savings, however, the proposal did not account for gas, maintenance, or insurance for the truck. She stressed that she's not comfortable spending over $100,000 of tax payer money. In the meantime, the resolution did pass and starting in June, when the contract with Scully Sanitation expires, the Village of Whitesboro will be responsible for its own garbage collection service.
Village Trustee, Patrick O'Connor, the author of the proposal, says Mayor Brenda Gilberti's opposition to it, amounts to, "Nepotism, cronyism and political grand standing at its absolute worse," he said. He says Gilberti's no vote on the proposal earlier this week has to do with a member of her family--her husband--who works for the Village's Department of Public Works. He says the reason she opposes the move is because, "she doesn't want her husband to pick up garbage."
O'Connor said, "It's not going to be a cure all to all of the village's financial woes, but it's a step in the right direction. It's a plan that does exactly what government is supposed to do, which is cut cost and create jobs. The move means additional duties for the Village's DPW workers and O'Connor said, "The only thing I could think of as why they would oppose it, is an additional duty that they would have to perform. While they look at that as a negative, I prefer to look at it as, you know, the glass half full. It's just another duty that creates job security for them. The more duties they have, the more we need them," he said.
When the proposal was first introduced in November 2011, some of the DPW workers decided to form a union. The union issue was taken up by the board on February 9, 2011. The meeting minutes state, "A motion to approve a resolution drafted by Mr. LeRoy Kotary recognizing Local 182 as the Exclusive Representative for the purpose of collective negations and the settlement of grievances for the Bargaining Unit consisting of those Employees working in the Village Department of Public Works was made by Mayor Gilberti." The motion to recognize Local 182 was denied following a vote.
Trustee Robert Friedlander – No
Trustee Raymond A. Daviau – Yes
Trustee Patrick O’Connor – No
Trustee David Glenn – No
The cost of the truck, estimated to be about $125,000, as a lease to own purchase, will be spread out over five years O'Connor said. He also said that the projected savings after the program is implemented, could save the Village roughly $50,000 in the first year alone. He said, "ultimately the numbers don't lie," and says the proposal is supported by Highway Superintendent, Chuck Tritten.
Tritten said garbage collection duties will be new territory for his department, but providing he has the extra man power, his staff should be able to take on the extra work. He said, "In today's age, like in government, and in all other businesses, they're faced with providing the same or more services while cutting cost. I respect that our board and mayor are continually trying to do this." O'Connor says the village highway department can ask for more pay, but the matter would have to be voted on. Tritten declined to comment on whether or not he plans on asking the board for more pay to go along with the extra work.
Part of the proposal includes the hiring of a part-time staff member to help ease the burden of the additional duty. O'Connor says village residents will not experience any changes in their garbage collection schedule. He says waste collection will still take place on Monday and Tuesday.