Glad they have their philosophies

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham

Cutting services isn’t about philosophy. It’s about passing the buck, and guess who gets impacted the most when the buck gets passed?

You guessed it. Those with the fewest bucks burning holes in their pockets.

That’s what we’re going to see with regard to the pending closure of the bulk-refuse collection center on July 1, for budget reasons. The cut will save city taxpayers $34,000 next year, at least on the face of things. Breaking down the numbers, the average household will save about $3.40 next year on their tax bills as a result of the decision to close the bulk-refuse collection center. That’s less than it will cost to make one trip to the regional landfill in Jollivue for the average Waynesboro resident, for whom the only other less-expensive option is a free once-a-month pickup by a refuse-collection crew.

The last-resort option available to residents after July 1 is arranging a special pickup at a cost of $35 a load. That’s about 10 times what you’re saving on taxes, for those keeping score at home.

So here’s what we have, ladies and germs. A $35 special pickup, leaving bulk refuse in the garage or on the side of the road for up to three weeks awaiting the free pickup, or putting out $4 for a gallon of gas to drive back and forth to Jollivue.

Personally, that gallon of gas isn’t an issue for me, and I could probably swing that $35 special pickup, as opposed to leaving stuff sitting around for weeks and junking up the neighborhood. I wonder, though, how many people working two jobs to barely make ends meet as it is because they lost their job to somebody in Mexico or China, or how many seniors on fixed incomes, or young families with moms and dads who have to work in Charlottesville because the local economy only offers retail and service jobs and otherwise don’t have time to drive out to the other side of the county, how many of those folks are going to be affected by this decision?

I’m glad some people have a philosophy about government. The rest of us, unfortunately, have to live in the real world.

Those other people and their philosophies might want to join us in the real world sometime. It’s a nice place, if not slightly more garbage-strewn after July 1.

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