Solid political strategy from John Callahan- bid out the contract to get the actual numbers, offer seniors an additional $70 discount, insist on passing all the savings back to residents instead of taking the $500,000 fee for the city budget:
A day after Bethlehem City Council axed his proposal to for a citywide trash hauler from next year’s budget, Mayor John Callahan said he will move ahead to bid out the contract and could have a proposal before council as early as February.
He said he is following cues from Monday’s council meeting, when members said they wanted hard numbers, options for a senior citizen discount and more time to consider the matter.
And now that hauling is not part of the budget, Callahan suggested that council could decide to pass all of the savings on to residents instead of collecting fees to fatten city coffers. His administration, which calculated the hauling service would bring $500,000 into next year’s budget, also argued that a single hauler would save the average household $110, clean up the city and cut down on the number of trash trucks rolling through a neighborhood on any given day [...]
He said Tuesday the city could negotiate a special senior citizen discount of an additional $70.
Showing seniors that they’ll save more money under the single hauler plan, and then buying them off with an additional discount blows up the political coalition that keeps the haulers in business. Plenty of dead-enders will of course refuse to believe they’ll save money even in the face of hard evidence, but the proof of savings plus the special senior discount should suffice to deactivate a large segment of the plan’s opponents.
This is exactly the kind of political imagination I am hoping to see from Mayor Callahan in the County Executive campaign.
(Thanks: Nicole Radzievich)