There's got to be a lot more to the story behind the proposed changes to the Beaufort County's trash and recycling center staff reductions. Solid Waste manager Jim Minor is encouraging residents to make weekday stops before or after work to reduce weekend loads at the centers in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island -- but the county closes them altogether on Wednesdays and doesn't open them until 9 a.m. (vs. 7 a.m. now) on the other days. That will make it easier, huh?
Reducing each of the Solid Waste Department's 42 part-time employees' hours is expected to save the county about $100,000 and thereby lessen the likelihood of increased property taxes.
But do the math. Eight hours less per week for 42 employees "saves" the county 17,472 total work hours per year. Divide that into the $100,000 saved and it indicates those employees are being paid only about $5.72 per hour now, well below the minimum wage of full-time employees elsewhere.
I'm no liberal, trust me, but if those 42 part-time employees are willing to put in the hours, I think a very minor increase (a couple bucks countywide?) in our property taxes is well worth it.