I suppose there is a place for unimaginative penny-pinchers in city and county government. Janitorial services, perhaps? But one thing they should probably never be in charge of is buying snow/ice removal equipment for a city or county.
Looking out of my kitchen window, seeing my trash can and recycle bin sitting on the curb three days after the regular pick up day - after the stalwarts in the US Mail and my letter carrier, to say nothing of the good folks from Collier’s Drug Store - have been able to make it around - makes me realize anew how needlessly a city can be shut down during the winter.
In the Olden Days when it would snow - sorry, when we would have a “weather event” - I would love it. I got to stay off school, play in the snow, and sleep later than usual. I got to spend more quality time with Brownie, my trusty cocker spaniel.
As a grown-up, though, I appreciated winter a little less. Oh, I still love snow - but not the ice. I still still recall the ice storms in Fayetteville in the 1980s, when plants were shut down, so that it could be ensured that homes did not run out of gas for heat. I lost several days pay that week, as well as being virtually marooned in my apartment.
It doesn’t snow every year, of course; the last couple years have been pretty mild. But when it does?
Well, when it does, everything seems to grind to a halt.
Missing school is one thing. But when the city grinds to a halt folks can’t get to work, and you don’t get paid for days off, unless you take a vacation day, and that sucks.
Tax revenue shrinks to a pittance. The Hamburger, Motel and Restaurant tax shrinks considerably. People aren’t going anywhere. And it really isn’t as though folks say, “Well, let’s eat out twice each day this week to make up for that snow event we had last week.”
When folks finally do get back to work, and get their paychecks - which may be meager - they won’t have much for spending on besides immediate bills, if they have enough to cover those.
Trash piles up.
On the curbs and in houses, garages and carports.
And every time we have a snow or ice storm, someone in an official capacity will look into a TV camera, and tell us that it is not “cost effective” to buy equipment so that cities can get back to normal.
My first thought is always, boy, you don’t work for an hourly wage, do you? Because you’ll get paid this week, while hundreds of other folks are losing money.
You’ll get paid while your city comes to halt financially.
These are just some of the little things that many folks remember, come Election Day.
The second thing I think
Whenever an official gives the cost effectiveness blather to the TV folks, none of them ever seem to be able to muster up the nerve to ask, “Why not?”
Quote of the Day
“Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.” - Rod Serling