To the Editor:

I attended a recent City Council workshop, where City Manager Ron Olson presented the results of proposals submitted by four companies interested in taking over Killeen’s solid waste operations.

I was surprised that only four companies responded. I was really surprised that two of the four were foreign-owned! One was based in Spain, the other in the U.K.

The City of Killeen had only a few requests. Those being: the winning bidder would hire all the solid waste employees. Buy the department’s inventory of vehicles. Lease the department’s buildings and, lastly, take over the recycling program. Not one of the four companies would agree to all of these conditions.

As Mr. Olson continued his presentation by comparing the proposed rates, I continued to be unimpressed. The lowest rate was only marginally lower than what we currently pay. The highest bid was noticably more.

Solid waste is one of two departments that actually make money for the City of Killeen. For as long as I had lived here, I’ve never had any issues with the service provided by the solid waste department.

Mr. Olson’s presentation only confirmed that Killeen already has a pretty good system in place.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Olson cautioned the council that if they chose to outsource, there was no going back. Once the employees, the vehicles and the system that was in place were gone, it would not be cost-effective to bring back.

Well, my feelings aside, I was quite pleased to read in last Wednesday’s KDH that the City Council had voted 4-3 to stop the outsourcing process.

All right! That’s the end of that.

Well, maybe not.

It seems that the three council members who favored the outsourcing weren’t happy that a vote was called for so quickly, without more opportunity for discussion.

In addition, they felt that certain high-ranking city employees involved in the process didn’t do enough to support the process. I doubt it. I believe they saw outsourcing for what it is — a bad idea but did what the council asked of them anyway.

Every council member saw the same presentation as I did. All council members were present for the vote.

Let this be the end of it. Thank you.

Bill Paquette


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