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Hillsborough needs better garbage service | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
Trucks from Republic Services arrive at their Tampa headquarters after their shifts.
Trucks from Republic Services arrive at their Tampa headquarters after their shifts.
Published Aug. 4

Better garbage service

Hillsborough to consider higher garbage rates

Today, the Hillsborough County Commission will consider a proposed increase in the rates charged to taxpayers and homeowners for waste collection. The trash services are managed by Hillsborough County and are subcontracted to several vendors. Unfortunately, the vendor who covers much of East Hillsborough County has been providing poor service, and trash, recycling and yard waste sometimes sit for days past scheduled pickup. When the county announced that the contract would not be renewed, the already marginal performance quickly worsened.

Hillsborough is set to spend over half a billion taxpayer dollars on garbage collection in coming years and is proposing a substantial increase in rates. Although the county has decided to privatize this service in recent years, it is ultimately county government that is responsible for ensuring fair rates and adequate service. I have consistently maintained that the county and its vendors must show a track record of good service before even considering a price increase.

The county has imposed significant financial penalties on the vendor responsible for the recent precipitous decline in service. Any monies recovered or withheld by the county should be returned pro rata to the taxpayer or used to defray any increase, at least until a consistent pattern of improved performance is shown.

Going forward, the county should carefully consider whether contracting with a private company for a service paid for through compulsory taxation is the route to achieve decent service at an acceptable cost.

Michael Beltran

The writer represents District 57 (Southeast Hillsborough County) in the Florida House.

‘Governor,’ not ‘doctor’

Pediatric COVID-19 cases surging in Fla. | Aug. 3

In light of the recent info on the impact of COVID-19 on those under the age of 20, and even those under the age of 12, including rising rates of hospitalizations and intubations in Florida, one can’t help but ask our governor where he received his medical degree that qualifies him to execute orders in direct opposition to the guidelines recommended by medical experts?

Mary Miller, New Port Richey

Executive orders

Pediatric COVID-19 cases surging in Fla. | Aug. 3

So if school districts decide to require masks, our governor will withhold funds. Sound familiar? Our former president did the same thing. Do it my way, or you’ll be punished.

Pearl Birnbaum, Sun City Center