The National Desk: Baltimore Struggles to Make Weekly Trash Pickups with $630M Budget 19_TND_Baltimore_trash_pickup

May 12, 2023 12:40 PM


Read original article at The National Desk.

The Baltimore mayor and city council are facing a lawsuit after failing to make weekly trash recycling pickups despite a well-funded budget of more than $630 million. 

Despite a legal mandate and the money to do it, Baltimore's Department of Public Works still cannot provide weekly recycling pickups.

Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski joined The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat Friday with more details about the lawsuit.

A group called Concerned Citizens of Baltimore represents about 200 citizens locally and it's grown to about 18,000 on a consortium of faith-based groups, local community associations and business associations. So think about this. These are regular people, they just want their trash picked up on a timely basis. They've been paying for 52 weeks of trash pickup, but they're only getting 26 weeks, so these citizens had to sue their government so they can get their trash picked up," Andrzejewski explained. 

Open the Books investigated the public works payroll department and found that 10 years ago in 2011 that it was in aggregate at the Department of Public Works a total of $84 million. 

Andrzejewski said today it has exploded to $140 million but the headcount is the same or slightly down. 

So here's the deal, workers at the Department of Public Works, they're making a lot more money. If you inflated their payroll just by inflation, it's double the pace of inflation over the course of the past 10 years. For example, there are now 136 figure public employees over at the Department of Public Works. Ten years ago, there were two. So this goes right to the power of public unions. Everyone's paid a lot, but the trash isn't picked up. Furthermore, the executives in the C suite over the Department of Public Works, they're making their head counts are much higher, they're sharply higher. So there's more bosses, more chiefs and more directors. Everyone's a boss, but the trash isn't being picked up.
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