Is new garbage pickup worth it?
I would like to voice my opinion on the exhaustive efforts of county commissioners and staff to get the word out about the new type of garbage service that they promoted extensively. I don't think the county intentionally provided misinformation. I think they took the edge off some points.
Why are we using the term "universal" when the service cannot be universally provided throughout Hernando County? There are some roads on the north and east sides of the county that this type of service cannot be provided to. These Toter-style cans require an exact placement at the curb. Automatic arms reach out and lift these cans up, out and over the truck. It requires more room than a regular truck. Also, many streets not only don't have the grade to place these cans, but have no level ground at all. Garbage trucks, in some cases, cannot get down these roads.
Many customers who presently bring garbage to the end of the street by putting bags in the trunk of their vehicles would have needed to wheel these cans to the end of their streets. They were not going to be able to lift these very heavy, very large cans into their vehicles.
This doesn't sound universal to me. It sounds more like mandatory service. If we switched to the new service, there would have been people who would have been out of a job. Aren't we in bad enough shape with our county unemployment rate and unemployment-related crimes?
In regards to recycling, it is true that Hernando County does not do a good job. However, hiding under the guise of Toter cans is not the solution. Some solutions are private recycling, county run recycling, a dirty MRF (materials recovery facility) and others. There are many options to run recycling more efficiently. Unfortunately, none are a result of using Toters.
It sounds so aesthetic and beautiful to have all cans the same size and the same colors in the exact same spot like robots along the curb as you look down a given street. However, is that a good enough reason for this administration to have provided such an exhaustive campaign through the newspaper, television, radio, town hall style meetings, flyers, etc.? Why was it so important to spend so much of the taxpayers' time and money? Don't we have better ways to spend our taxpayer money?
Sherry Overend, Brooksville
Janey Baldwin, activist heroine
Janey Baldwin may be the last civic activist standing. She is our community watchdog over commission meetings and workshops in her vigil to keep them honest and she has prevailed in this role over the past two decades.
She and Tom, her husband, are my favorite Republicans and when I find trivia, books and artifacts representing the Grand Old Party, I call Tom to come to my office at VFW 10209 where I assist with claims and benefits for hundreds of veterans.
Janey remembers when more of the public were present at commission meetings to urge policy that is responsible. Naturally, this is a year to remember as the budget is the principal criterion that dictates decisions and affects services provided by our local government.
Janey researches the items on the agenda and prepares herself to speak up on specifics that will affect public considerations. She shows her sensibility by weighing costs against benefits. Her quick smile and diplomacy allow her continuing access to board affairs as some agenda topics bring tunnel-vision to the table because of biases.
If we ever talk about heroes or heroines among us, we all need to be reminded of Janey's riding in on the white horse to save the day.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville