To the editor:

I agree with Jack Ronald, that the City of Portland was foolish.

In the Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, story “Curbside cut — Portland recycling ends this week” by Rose Skelly, Mayor Randy Geesaman was quoted as saying “We felt like with so many fixed-income people, (retired) people, in addition to the four rate increases, if we even increased another dollar people would say … ‘I can hardly afford my water and sewage bill now.’” Why doesn’t he do something about that, he is the mayor?

Another quote by the mayor, regarding the potential of shifting the recycling fee to help cover trash pick-up costs: “We wouldn’t charge a dollar more,” Geesaman said. “Even though we need about $10 or $12 dollars (a month, to cover the costs) … We’re going to take that $4.25 that we’ve already been working with and make it work. Especially since there is a surplus.”

“The other option is to divide up and pay out that surplus as a refund to the city’s 2,400 households. Geesaman said any decisions will likely be made after the year ends.”

Why should the citizens have to wait? We are not getting the service that we have been paying for. Sounds like the city still wants to collect on a service that has been cancelled. I want my refund and not make any more payments on a service that I am not receiving.

I think that the city officials should check this form of action to make sure that it is legal for them to take a line item (contract) and use the money in a way that it was intended. This is a budget item and should be addressed at budget time, when a hearing can be held.

It was stated in the article that city officials are considering using the surplus to help fund trash pick-up, which the mayor said is in dire straits. The mayor stated that we’re going in the red on trash and they’ve never been charged a separate trash fee. Of course not. This was built into the street department budget. Mayor, you could do a cost work-up and work up a proper amount of money that the trash pick-up actually costs. 

The story also stated “That could change as the city’s trash costs rise. Geesaman said he, the board of works and Portland City Council will discuss changing the $4.25 monthly recycling fee to a $4.25 a month trash pick-up fee.”

Again I say I want my money refunded.

If anyone reading this feels the same or not, let your council person know. They will appreciate your call.

If you need your council person’s telephone number, the city office will supply that number.

Thank you,

Robert E. Moore

Portland