Who Do You Represent?

By Ron Jones

As the Broome County Legislators begin to mull the privatizing of food service in various Broome County agencies, I offer them one word of advice. Don’t. It’s no secret that the agenda of the party in power includes privatizing every public function possible. Such an impulse is borne of a false assumption that private is always better than public. But the opposite is usually true. Any time – I repeat any time–a for profit company takes over a public function and the motivation for performing the service becomes making money instead of making good. Making money becomes the primary – if not the only – goal. I ask each legislator, “What don’t you get about that?” Does it matter?

If that is so, tell me why you would make the change. Are the meals bad now? Are the recipients complaining? Are we as citizens losing money? The answer to the three previous questions is a resounding NO. Do you know that Aramak, one of the contact bidders, will not be hiring all the current Central Foods workers? And, those who are brought on board will make less money? Fewer workers and less money for these workers means we as a county are worse off economically. So, if you are looking to do something fiscally responsible, just know that much of the money that now goes into this endeavor will now go to Philadelphia. As much as 12%. Maybe more. Why on earth would you want that to happen? Who elected you? Who do you really represent if you privatize?

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