Use Trust Build to collect fees

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

To the Editor:

“The good part about going to a collection agency is it’s not going to cost

the city anything.”

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This statement was made in the city council meeting concerning an agency taking over the collections of delinquent garbage fees.

Despite this subject being discussed many times in council meetings and assurances from the mayor that steps were being taken through Mr. Goldsby’s office to correct this situation, the uncollected garbage fees have increased tremendously. Uncollected garbage fees, approximately $600,000, up from approximately $348,000 in 2005.

This increase appears to be caused by nothing less than putting collections as a very low priority, not wanting to upset parts of the voter base, and the hope that the situation will magically disappear.

Look at the schedule of collection charges. Thirty percent of $600,000 is $180,000. How can anyone say that it costs the city (taxpayer) nothing. This money belongs to the taxpayer.

We will be paying a very large sum of money to hire an outside agency for collections that our city should have been doing. The city courts are there for us to use in collecting. Why haven’t we used them? The same court system will be used by the agency to collect.

What can this agency do to collect that we as a city can’t? Or is it that we won’t?

Measures need to be taken and guidelines put in effect that will not only save the taxpayer $180,000 for the proposed solution but to insure it does not become a financial stumbling block or a divisive issue in the future. It seems that now would be a perfect opportunity for Trust/Build to assert itself in the community by taking on the responsibility for collections. How better to build trust than apprising their contacts of financial and taxpayer responsibility.

Gene Hisel