Saturday, November 5, 2011

" Truthiness" and Trash Talk in WL

I know it's fashionable to be anti-intellectual, but WOW this is a great piece of rhetoric, composition, and creative writing from Dr. Richard Johnson . . .

Truthiness and trash talk in WL race

They say truth is the first casualty of war. The same could be said of elections.

A recent letter claimed that West Lafayette City Council District 4 candidate Diane Damico wrote the "pay as you throw" ordinance. Actually, a city council member authored the bill. That letter was short on some other facts, too.

The trash ordinance would have saved taxpayers money. The rates we pay were already scheduled to increase, so the city asked the Go Greener Commission, chaired by Damico, to study how to cut costs by reducing trash and increasing recycling. The commission partnered with Purdue's highly respected EPICS program to develop some money-saving alternatives.

EPICS recommended a two-tiered system that has worked well in other towns. The plan came down to whether you use a regular garbage can or a large garbage can. People who chose the regular can would save money, while people who chose the large can would pay more. Plus, large items would be taken for a fee.

Most West Lafayette citizens would have saved money, despite council member Vicki Burch's claims. Also, the city would have made more money on recycling. It was a win-win.

Unfortunately, the bill was vetoed for political reasons, and those higher trash costs were creatively hidden in the city's wastewater budget where you wouldn't notice them. So, Burch's opposition actually cost us money.

Unfortunately, the truth rarely seems to matter in politics. Some elected officials count on that. Damico has been a pillar of this community. Vote for progress.

Richard Johnson

West Lafayette

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