Pesident Ricardo Martinelli stepped back into Panama’s ongoing garbage collection dispute on Thursday, September 20, blaming the tardiness on lack of drivers who are, he said,underpaid, and promised a raise to aid recruitment.
City garbage collection became a government responsibility when the president took the problem away from the Municipality which, under Mayor Bosco Vallarino, had blamed lack of garbage trucks. The government promised streamlined service with no more moldering garbage piles in the streets and created a new body, the Urban and Household Authority (AAUD).
That was a wrong decision because it was politically tinged, says Panameñista Deputy Jose Isabel Blandon a former advisor to Mayor Bosco, a fellow Panameñista who was eventually ousted by Martinelli and replaced with Roxana Mende, an insider in the ruling Democratic Change party
Blandon complained that the problem is not yet solved and said that Martinelli could not claim a lack of resources, because the AAUD had the money to do the job.
On FOX Report, Blandon said that the management should revert to the city which he hopes to control, as he recently announced his intention to run for mayor with a platform of culture and education for the masses.
In the meantime, something is smelling in the streets.