Not everyone can afford recycling surcharge

The idea to enforce those of the community who don’t utilize a particular service is another way of government saying “you pay to survive rather than live.” I’ve never once had a need to utilize the recycling center and to pay an annual $20 surcharge is illogical. If I recall, it started out at $10. Working in the industry for years focusing on household self-sufficiency, those in our community, not isolated to Alpena, are struggling. Higher water rates, food pantries (really, we have to have these?), dwindling kettle funds from local organizations paired with household fixed incomes for our most vulnerable, this will make it just that worse for them. When does it stop wherein government is not responsible for figuring financial issues and passing the buck onto us? We should be making a quality of life and living experiences for residents and retention. How difficult is it for government staff to do a spread sheet that indicates 364 citizens consistently opt out avoiding the implied direct costs? If funding is an issue, let’s stop being a siloed community and work together rather than “we are in discussion and next week we consider it/vote on it.” I know how Federal and State budgets work and they shouldn’t be always a knee jerk reaction, rather, let’s think this through in the betterment of the population we serve. Twenty dollars may not seem like a lot to some, but it does to those who return bottles/cans for deposits which is their way of buying a pair of socks and they are trying. Why doesn’t city/county government start charging attendance at the Saturday Concerts at the Park as well?

James T. Juchartz

Alpena