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Regarding Carlos Vidal's column on leaf collection....While I agree that the city could start collecting leaves later, I don't know if you can really complain about what isn't picked up.  Yes, our tax dollars pay for this service, but our taxes are SO low compared to other cities and towns that it's hard to believe they can find money to do this at all.   I think the city does a good job given the cost of the task and the area they have to cover.  In a perfect world, they would probably start later and make more than one pass, but I for one would rather bag what is left behind myself than   push them to do beyond what they can do with the budget they have in place.  This could result in more taxes to cover the additional services.  I think we are lucky to have the luxury of leaf pick  at all. Why complain?  Maybe  an exception could be made for people who are not capable of picking up what they city missed, but the rest of us can take an hour and do our part...and maybe even help out an elderly neighbor too.
Carlos Vidal December 06, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Diane, I appreciate your response and using the Patch as a vehicle to present your point of view. I want to make sure that you understand that my blog refers ONLY to the "south side" of Waltham and the lack of communication on when the leaves get picked up. That is it. I'm not talking about the whole city or other neighborhoods. Maybe the program works great in North Waltham, Warrendale, Bleachery, Highlands, etc. But on the south side of Waltham it does not. If the city wants to keep picking up the leaves on the 1st week on November in my area then make sure everyone knows that. In the south side of waltham we don't have as much frontage or wide streets to put the piles. Most people park on the street and eventually cars park on top of the piles of leaves. Please take the time to come to this part of the city to see what I'm talking about. If you want to discuss this further please feel free to contact me at carlos.vidal@kw.com Thank you, Carlos Vidal
Diane walsh December 07, 2013 at 02:00 AM
I don't think the problem is unique to the south side Carlos. . The leaf pick up schedule is posted on the city website under recycling and people who don't have access can call for info. The point is people have to take the initiative and find out. I'm not sure what you expect them to do. Knock on doors? Maybe you could organize a neighborhood clean up to help out. I live across from conservation land and I rake those leaves even though I don't own the land.
Walthamguy December 07, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Diane, thanks for your comments on leaf collection, however I invite you to re-examine your statement regarding "but our taxes are SO low compared to other cities and towns". Fact is that in-spite of Waltham's "resident owner tax exemption" our higher tax rate is such that homes assessed above $500K (approx) the Waltham taxes are higher than in Newton & Wellesley - which are reputed to have a better school system....
Diane walsh December 07, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Walthamguy. I appreciate your comments and I agree the school system has declined a little bit but that is another issue and I'm not sure it's related to taxes. I think some school systems struggle even when there is an adequate budget and great teachers. I no longer have kids in the system but I hope things turn around so that every child gets a great education My comment about taxes was general.we pay less than MOST places and my point was that we should try to appreciate the service because the city isn't mandated to provide it.. Newton doesn't vacuum leaves. ,
Diane walsh December 07, 2013 at 05:32 AM
p.s. I hardly ever respond to anyone who writes and won't use hi real name.
Sam Siesta December 08, 2013 at 12:03 PM
PS.....Who cares!
CP December 09, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Diane, I disagree that Waltham taxes are low. I am 70 and live on ss and my taxes are the bulk of my
Judge Judy December 10, 2013 at 12:58 AM
@CP - As you may already know, as a senior with low income you can go to the Waltham Tax Assessor's office and apply for an exemption from Waltham's (3%) CPA Tax. Hint: Apply within this month in order for the exemption to become effective in 2013. (It won't amount to much money, but better in your pocket than the CPA's.)
Diane walsh December 10, 2013 at 04:52 AM
CP. For what it's worth, I think seniors have it rough. I don't know how you do it and I think it is a shame that seniors struggle. It shouldn't be this hard but I think anyone living on social security anywhere has the same problem. I am not that far from you and I'm wondering how I will manage myself.

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