Letter: Privatization is not stable over time

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To the editor,

This is in response to the Feb. 2, 2014 letter [published in the Waterbury Republican American] by Mr. Daniel Sheridan, who respectfully challenged my letter on Jan. 30, 2014 on the issue of privatization of trash hauling in Naugatuck.

Mr. Sheridan just gives his opinion, respectfully, as I have done in my letter for which states facts on the negatives of privatization. He gives numerical amounts for which undoubtedly can and will change, especially in the long run. Recent studies of trash privatization by cities have shown that privatized contracts are not stable over time and that during a five-year contract (seems to be the start-off standard contract, before the kill or a lead on) period 88 percent of all USA city governments reversed (de-privatized) their privatized contracts, meaning they contracted back in-house or local government took back trash hauling.

Example: Department of Public Works, Warwick, R.I. After a five-year experiment with privatization of trash hauling they had enough and went back to the city taking back trash hauling and being more efficient and cost-effective. The city (Warwick, R.I.) took a team approach with AFSME Union, with an incentive-type contract for its public works employees as well as for the city.

In our borough of Naugatuck, I have seen no evidence AFSME Union was given a chance to bid on the trash hauling contract, they are not listed on the RFP bids. They have the right to bid.

Naugatuck will not be able to keep up with the continuous increase in contracting trash hauling costs. It’s inevitable. You have more direct control in local government cost than you do in the private sector run-away costs. Look at fuel, insurance, now healthcare more than ever before and workers compensation (Connecticut highest in USA) and trash contractors have a tendency to inflate projected revenues, especially from the sale of recyclables. Disputes are very costly too. Mr. Sheridan says cities/towns have been successful — not so with 88 percent de-privatizing.

Concerns of efficiency, quality and creativeness can be done in-house. Mr. Sheridan wants citizens of Naugatuck to have limited access to information and not the right to know on any and all issues, in its entirety, on the subject of privatization of trash hauling. This is not the caveman era. Let’s keep our jobs and money in town.

Lack of attendance to the Joint Board of Mayor and Burgesses and Board of Finance Board meetings by me will continue due to my ongoing/permanent attention to my wife, who just had cancer surgery at UConn Health Center. God and family come first, last and always.

Mr. Sheridan, I have a pen (computer) and a phone. I will continue, at home, to advocate as a citizen of Naugatuck and assist/help the petitioning group for non-privatization of trash hauling and non-privatization of the nurses association. 

The citizens of Naugatuck should vote on these privatization issues. Why? It’s our money. Citizens, obtain all privatization cost documents through the Freedom of Information Act. I ask all citizens of Naugatuck to stay informed on the continuous effort of our elected local government officials who want to privatize our trash hauling and the nurses association. 

Call the Mayors Office, (203) 720-7009, for a schedule of meetings regarding privatization and sign the petitions.

I don’t intend to be a know-it-all about privatization, that’s not me. But I do know a lot about contracting with an abundance of street smarts. Just being intellectual or book smart won’t hold up in the contracting arena. Mr. Sheridan I suggest that your dominance at meetings be more respectful towards the Naugatuck citizens of the petitioning group for non-privatization. This group has the wisdom, knowledge and compassion for our quality of life and you should listen to them and not lecture them.

Emidio Cerasale

Naugatuck

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