Leaf Vacuuming Program Should Be Restored in the 2010 New Providence Municipal Budget

On Monday evening, I introduced a resolution to restore the curb-side leaf vacuuming program, without a tax increase, by using currently available funds in the budget that have not been allocated for any other purpose. Not a single member of the Council would second my motion, and so my resolution failed.

In the alternative, the Council passed the Mayor's plan, by a 4 to 1 vote (with me voting in the negative), to create a new, fee based program, requiring residents to fill out a form and write a check for $50 in order for their leaves to be vacuumed with trucks that we already own. Over the next 7 business days, we can expect that some 3,200 single-family households may send in applications and checks, requiring Borough staff who were previously not involved in this process, to dedicate their days to processing these applications, printing and mailing out individually numbered permits to be placed in the windows of each house, and create a data base of participating residents for our DPW workers to following along with as they vacuum leaves and search for permits in every house. This approach only drives up the complexity and cost of what was once a very efficient government service.

Rest assured, I will do my best to restore funding for the leaf vacuuming program in the 2010 municipal budget, and thereby return to the efficient, effective service that has been provided in the past

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