Don’t privatize Greenfield services

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We are very concerned to hear that Greenfield is considering privatizing some services. Or at least the Mayor is planning to do that. We sure hope he can’t, and won’t, make any decision like this alone. This will affect our citizens of Greenfield for a long time to come.

We have an excellent DPW right now. They are dedicated and come through, even when there are hard circumstances like weather. The workers are dedicated to serving the town. They are friendly and respectful. They take time to answer questions as needed. Our transfer station is wonderful, and we are sure our services are a model in the Commonwealth.

Why should our town resources go to a private business instead of staying in Greenfield? We have read lots of stories where that has gone very badly for folks. Why fix it if it isn’t broken? Very wise advice.

There is no reason for some private people to make a profit from our trash — when it is already so elegantly and smoothly running.

Just look to Montague in the recent storm. First we read that the mayor had decided to privatize all the services related to trash, recycling, and to the transfer station in Greenfield. Then, we read another piece in the paper that Montague citizens are disgruntled about the disruption of services in the recent storms. Montague services have been privatized and there is not the same kind of accountability to the citizens that we have now in Greenfield.

Greenfield workers (who care about this town and services in a personal way) made sure that roads, trash, recycling all went smoothly during, and after those storms. We are unlikely to get that service from workers in a for-profit business. And we strongly suspect this is a sideways attempt to break the union. The union assures that our workers get treated fairly in a way that is also fair to the town. It is very transparent now. If it goes privatized, we will have very little access to any real accountability.

We do not want to cut services or cut workers. Our workers of the DPW are a valuable resource in this town. Again, don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. There are many examples where privatizing has lead to more headaches, problems and cost more money. Keep Greenfield in Greenfield.

Diane Clancy and Susan Elkin