I have just received the annual water quality mailing from Pinellas County. I feel that while this information is important, and should be easily available for public review, the delivery method is wasteful.
In this time of tightened purse strings and environmental awareness, this distribution of valuable information wasted both money and resources. It is printed on a specialty-sized paper (extra cost to purchase and to print), using colored inks (granted, two-color rather than four, but still more expensive than black ink only).
It was also mailed separately from regular utility bills. If the bulk mailing were to cost only 25 cents for each piece for the 115,000 pieces printed, this creates a postage cost of $28,750. At 10 cents each, this cost would still be $11,500.
In addition to these costs, there is the waste of paper (recycled always contains new content along with the old), the chemicals in the ink and cleaning processes involved, and fossil fuels used in delivery. How many of these will go right into the trash, unread, and off to the landfill?
I suggest that in the future, the county announce the availability of this report in its water bill mailings in the already included "Utilitalk" flier. This announcement could tell readers where on the county web-site the information can be viewed, as well as a phone number that can be called to order a printed copy. Rather than printing 115,000, I would be stunned to see requests for 11,500, or a mere tenth of that.
For those who are not direct bill customers (residents who have a landlord or some other person pay the bill), I suggest that local TV and radio stations, county government TV and local print media run public service announcements or even news stories. This would keep costs, both monetary and environmental, down to a minimum.
I urge readers to contact their county commissioners and county administrator to ask them to find ways of reducing costs through technology. Paperless utility billing would be an excellent start.
Ann Luce, Clearwater
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Pedestrians always lose, story, June 27
Set higher goal on saving lives
I had to respond to this article, because I couldn't believe what I read! Largo police Sgt. George Edmiston set a goal of reducing pedestrian accidents and deaths by 50 percent. Are you kidding me? As a law enforcement officer, charged with protecting the public, shouldn't his goal be 100 percent?
Apparently, in Largo, if you set your goals at doing half of your job, you can make sergeant. Is it any wonder that pedestrian deaths in Pinellas are about twice the national average, when law enforcement only tries to reduce the numbers by 50 percent?
David Feeney, Dunedin