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Letters to the Editor by – Victor Barback

Posted on 01. Apr, 2019 by in all, Magazine Articles

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ONE MAN’S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN’S MONOPOLY!

Dear  Councilperson Kortez, Reina Pereira, Wendy Bruget, Amanda Mejia:

We met with Councilman Koretz in his office on February 7th, 2019.  You were all present for our meeting and discussion. Among other issues we spoke about the unjustified extra fees for over-fill and overweight charges.  The Athens Company admitted that they didn’t have scales on the equipment used to collect the trash at the apartment house in question and their “overweight charge” was subjective.  They promised to rectify this situation.  As they did before, they said one thing and did exactly what they wanted to!  Once again they took an over-fill and billed us as an overweight charge.  The overfill charge is $26.58; the overweight charge is $107.19. Athens continues, without impunity, their practice of gouging their customers!

The over-fill is due to uncrushed boxes.  There is NO construction on site; no cement or heavy items are being thrown in the bin – it is only household trash. We should not be charged for overweight when it’s only an over-fill.

We continually get over charged or incorrectly charged on our account with Athens.  If this is their business practice, how many other clients are being overcharged?  How come this didn’t happen in the past when there was competitive bidding for services? Sadly, this is only one of the abuses inherent in awarding monopolies to businesses!

This is exactly one of the problems that we discussed with the Councilman Koretz and his staff.  I stated at this meeting, that this situation is no more than a money grab and the Athens’s monopoly was going to do nothing to rectify this and sadly, I was right.  We do need City oversight and Reina Pereira to rectifyAthensabuses!

Would you kindly reviewAthens’s business practices and reduce this over charge?  Would you kindly contact whoever is in charge of this matter and stop this fraud from occurring again and again? I look forward to your response and correction of this situation.

Sincerely, Mike Gold, Property Administrator

Dear Councilmember Koretz:

Thank you for taking time to meet with Mike Gold, Lou Lipofsky, our attorney and myself to discuss the trash monopoly issue.

I’m so glad that you realize the inherent dangers in awarding a monopoly to the trash companies. They have the security of a ten year contract with too little oversight.  If their performance is any indication, it’s unbelievable how they instituted a recycling program without effective notification AND education for their constituents. We are talking a year and half after its implementation and that part of the program is still missing, but trash monopoly fee increases and “add-ons” continue to elevate at an alarming rate.   Their billing practices drive up the cost of housing and impact our most vulnerable citizens.  It forces families out of housing and into their vehicles and public shelters.

City oversight, while important cannot replace the democratic system of competitive bidding.  Competitive bidding has been proven to drive down costs and increase quality of service.

Hopefully, there will be an improvement in this trash monopoly system for both tenants and apartment owners.

Thanks again for listening; I hope you will be an effective advocate for those families who have little or no voice.     

Sincerely, Victor Bardack

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