Parker: I supported single-hauler then — and I support it now

When I served as mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley, we addressed the issue of a single provider for trash pickup.

Vernon Parker

I supported it then, and I support it now. It makes economic sense. It makes environmental sense, and it makes plain and simple common sense. Our council did not have the will to make that decision.

I hope that this council will show the backbone to support this proposition.

From an economic standpoint, the overwhelming majority of town residents will save $4.40 per month, and a portion of town residents will see their bill go down by 50 percent or more! Town staff has projected the town will save upwards of $250,000 in road maintenance by going to a single provider. Pricing will be locked in for seven years, only allowing a 3.5 percent increase annually. It is also my understanding that HOAs will not be adversely affected financially. No one in the town will see a rate increase, and many will see a rate decrease.

From an environmental viewpoint, it makes sense.

Our global environment is already at a breaking point. The Town of Paradise Valley can do its part to help save our environment. The current proposal would remove diesel-spewing trucks and would require only natural gas vehicles in the town for trash pickup. The current proposal would reduce garbage truck traffic by 70 percent, resulting in less air and noise pollution.

The proposal would also reduce wear and tear on our roads. From an aesthetic point of view, the community will have the same trash cans, and eliminate the eyesore of that neighbor who has 10 trash cans and bundles of garbage in their front yard. In addition, trash collection would be scheduled for the same day, thus removing the eyesore and congestion of multiple trash days. You will no longer fret about what to do with your Christmas tree, they will pick it up. There will also be hazardous waste pick up and shredding events, all resulting in an improved environment.

The Town of Fountain Hills faced a similar decision, with similar opposition. If you ask the residents of Fountain Hills today, they would overwhelmingly tell you the switch to a single provider was one of the best decisions the town ever made.

The argument that this is a free market choice does not hold water. It is simply a “Red Herring.” Government has, in many cases, limited market choice when there is a better good. For example, people had a choice to smoke in public buildings, that choice was taken away because it affected the health of others.

People did not have to wear seatbelts, now they do, because seatbelts save lives and reduce costs to others by reducing injuries. Support of this proposal will contribute to saving our environment, and will have a positive economic impact.

I have been a champion of limited government over the years. I along with the council that served with me reduced the size of government in Paradise Valley during the most economic devastating times the town had ever seen. We understood limited government. This is not a case of limited government.

I hope the town council does its part and will not be swayed by anonymous mailers and the illogical argument the town would be acting like “big brother.” It is my sincere hope the council does the right thing and supports a single provider in one of the greatest towns in America.

Single provider pick up would make it even greater.

Editor’s note: Mr. Parker is a resident of Scottsdale and former mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley

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