How can Atascadero city officials help their residents financially?

October 16, 2020

OPINION by BRAD GOODROW

Atascadero city leaders have identified a budget problem, they can’t operate within theirs. Have they looked at cutting back or placing contracts out to bid to lower costs for their residents? No, they are focused on increasing tax revenue but not cutting their costs.

That’s why Atascadero voters are being asked at the Nov. 3 election to increase the sales tax — which will double the city’s sales tax revenue, and increase costs for anyone who shops in Atascadero. This is less about serving the citizens and more about generating money for a city that cannot make ends meet.

The coronavirus has caused many people in our community to struggle to pay their bills. And in a time like this, we need to work together to lower the cost of living, not increase it.

Recently, Mayor Heather Moreno voiced her distaste for putting Atascadero’s trash hauling contract out to bid. What else has she not put out to bid?

But there are incredible advantages to giving local companies the opportunity to serve their neighbors. First, it would lead to lower costs for Atascaderans. Second, City Hall could require the creation of a buy-back center for recyclables – another revenue stream for our residents.

The timing is perfect, the city can make three one-year extensions to the current waste hauling contract, while they research going out to bid.

It would be best for Atascadero ratepayers for the city to exercise its first one-year extension and launch a bidding process to test the water.

Doesn’t sound scary, does it?

What is scary is never undergoing a competitive bidding process on one of – if not the largest – contract the city executes.

This, all while claiming to have the residents’ best interest at hand, as City Hall seeks to raise their taxes again?

They do know what they’ll get by raising taxes on your groceries, gas, and clothes. That’s why they’re asking you to pinch your pocketbook on Nov. 3.

As a trash hauler who lives in the North County and proudly supports Atascadero small businesses each and every day, I am confident that putting the contract out to bid would lower monthly costs for residents while adding a center where they can redeem money for their cans and bottles.

While Atascadero city leaders extol the virtues of local, small businesses, they continue to issue a no-bid contract to the largest waste company in North America.

It’s true: the city currently contracts with an out-of-state conglomerate that has sponsored events for elected officials while refusing to provide key recycling services to Atascadero.

I have repeatedly implored city officials to explore a competitive bidding process at the end of the current contract, which ends on Dec. 31, 2020.

I am not asking them to hand us the contract, but to approve the trash hauling company that provides the public with the best services at the best price.

Instead of giving Atascadero residents the best option, they have given us a number of excuses: they have no staff time to handle the process and that the process is too expensive and not worth the risks.

A bidding consultant isn’t an expense you – the taxpayer – pays. It’s a cost that the winning bidder pays.

It’s time that Atascadero put its residents and their pocketbooks first. In times like these, we should expect nothing less.

Brad Goodrow is a long-time Creston resident and the owner of Midstate Solid Waste & Recycling.


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obispan

How is a buy back center a stream of revenue? It is stream of expense as the homeless proliferate and “tax” the already underfunded Police and Public Works departments. The supermarkets gladly pay the $100/day fine for failing to buy back. $36,500/yr ain’t s**t compared to employee wage expenses not to mention the filth and hassle of buy back. And the state is glad to accept it to pay their flock of useless employees each making more the the state governor or US senators. Plus buy back encourages the homeless to go through mixed recycling and cherry pick the redemption items that are supposed to offset the costs of mixed recycling and surveil the streets for additional criminal opportunities. I speak from experience.


kevin rise

Guess who’s advocating solely for, soley here, for tax hikes in Paso and Atascadero; duh duh duh. Republicans! And guess what, they’re all in bed with local contractors like Wallace, Gearhart Etc. Like Heather, groomed by Tom the fraud O Malley and DA Cover Up Dow. Vote Tanimoto for Atascadero, a real local Volunteer, teacher and friend. What has Heather done? Dancing with the stars BS and nothing aside from; created condos and mansions and gentrified the town while driving homeless into the Salinas!! Dont vote on party or celebrity, vote on a damn track record this time folks!!


WeThePeople

No doubt politics & power corrupts any politician (Republican or Democrat), but tax hikes aren’t typically a Republican platform. Tanimoto will be no different in this respect, the difference will be seen in his progressive policies…though he claims to be non-partisan, one doesn’t have to dig too deep to see where his views align. Tanimoto supports Keen, who supports Measure D, is that not a tax hike?


Adam Trask

Sure, NO NEW TAXES! But how long will it be before the same citizens that oppose this modest tax increase will be complaining about the lack of timely trash pickups at a time when costs are rising due to relying on a fickle free market. Don’t be fooled, Mr. Goodrow is piping up right now, not because he’s looking out for the good citizens of Atascadero, but because he sees profits in the future.


Citizens of Atascadero, please beware of representatives of corporate interests interfering in public policy


Cindy

Wow! Brad Goodrow has regularly spoken up for the community. Not only has he promoted bidding, he is opposed to increased taxes. Last time he said he could do hauling cheaper, the company getting the no-bid contract dropped their rates, but later dropped services like recycling after the city decided not to take it out to bid. A bid would lower monthly costs to residents. It does not matter who wins, it is about the cost to the public.


WeThePeople

A “free market” in this case would be competitive bidding…as in, the company with the best benefit-cost ratio wins. You really should be concerned about public policy interfering with business interests (Midstate isn’t exactly a corporation…it’s a local, small business. Whereas, the current no-bid contract is to a corporation with HQ in TX). Why shouldn’t a local business have an opportunity to compete, so long as they provide equal services? Not everyone sees more & more taxes as the solution to every problem! My suspicion is that some of our local officials have learned to line their own pockets like some of our federal elected officials have!


Paso_citizen

Thanks for the laugh I got when reading your last sentence:


“It’s time that Atascadero put its residents and their pocketbooks first. In times like these, we should expect nothing less.”


The only thing cities in SLO county want is your pocketbook (or better yet your ATM card and PIN)

They are greedy beyond description. They have been feeding off the residents for so long, they have forgotten anything else.


Many have already voted and hopefully many more will vote. Every resident of any city should think long and hard about any tax increase during this pandemic. Now is not the time. How many of you are having a big problem meeting monthly bills? Have you lost your job?


Vote NO on tax increase measures! Stop feeding the pigs – this election is the time.


shelworth

Does the word “Kickback” mean anything to you? You gotta pay to play!


Jorge Estrada

How can government remain above reproach without competitive bidding? I’ve always understood that competitive bidding was required by law to avoid government featherbedding, a practice used to build budgets for the sole purpose of hiring more buddies with taxpayer dollars. I use the term “buddies” because this is done in a preferential environment.