OPINION | Barry Richard: City, ABC Need to Renegotiate Deal
I feel bad that the Camara family is struggling with its company, ABC Disposal Services, and that business decisions made a world away in China are impacting its bottom line. But as they say, them's the breaks in the world of business.
While changes in the way the Chinese purchase recyclable materials from companies such as ABC and others around the world are making it difficult for the local company to honor its contract with the people of New Bedford, a deal is a deal. ABC is halfway through a 10-year agreement with the City to collect and dispose of its solid waste recyclables. That contract must be honored.
ABC says it will have to increase what it charges the City to collect the recyclables, or will stop collecting them all together at the end of next month. The Mitchell Administration says ABC has charged the city some $189,000 more than what was agreed upon and has filed suit against the company. Camara tells WBSM the suit is unfair to him and his family.
ABC and the Camara family have been doing business in New Bedford for many, many years. The Administration should be willing to renegotiate the contract with ABC in order to keep the company solvent and to prevent a trash collection crisis. But, renegotiating the contract requires good faith bargaining on both sides.
Mayor Mitchell has already said the City won't be writing a blank check.
ABC must open its books to the Administration if there is to be a good faith effort to resolve this matter in a way that does not unnecessarily burden the taxpayers, many of whom are having struggles of their own.
Should ABC refuse to be forthcoming about the extent of its needs, New Bedford has no choice but to dissolve its agreement with the Camara family and find a new trash vendor.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.