Letters to the Editor

mindfirellc Community

Rural resident view on new sanitation system

To the Editor:

The front page story, “Sanitation System Gets Cleaned Up” could have easily had a different headline, “County Commissioners Begin Move to Remove Benefit for Rural Residents.”  A much better assessment of this “problem” is needed, relying on citizens’ experience rather than the suggestions of outside vendors.

After 30 years in Madison, we moved “out in the county” a couple of years ago and have enjoyed it thoroughly.  I regularly use two different dumping stations in the western part of the county, one near Fairplay and the other on Newborn Road.  In these two years (including driving by the Fairplay site almost daily), I have never observed at these sites the conditions of overflowing bins and piles of illegal trash are so floridly described by an unquoted source in the story.

If one wants to push it, this story and its generalizations are an insult to those of us who are outside the city limits.

There are occasions near holidays when the bins get full, but I have found it remarkable how citizens take care to get their trash onto the pile rather than just dumping it on the ground, as is implied in the story.

Two items are missing from the story.  First, I have no doubt that there have been problems such as those described but that these are limited to certain locations. It is also possible that these problems occur repeatedly at certain locations.

 If units of an array of identical services are not working as intended, good management rarely suggests that you thus have to fix the whole system.

Second, it has always been my understanding that these stations were monitored with cameras to detect the kind of behaviors that the story describes, and to detect the people who are breaking the law.  Have these been removed?  Given the current state of technology of observing and detection, is there not a simple alternative available for monitoring?

I am troubled by the way in which this story shows ready acceptance of a problem followed by a readiness to change things to solve it.  Our commissioners seem always on the ready to spend more money.  Right now this trash service is built into our county taxes.  Surely this will change as the commissioners inevitably roll down the road to replace and add to the existing equipment, which surely represents a significant prior investment that will be lost.

It would be impressive if the Commissioners had come to their conclusions based on documented  and numerous complaints that they have received from the “out in the county” citizenry.  It looks like these decisions are being driven more by impressions than by documented facts.  I doubt if many out in the county are desirous of more tax hikes or requirements to purchase roadside service which itself has multiple downsides for users.

Likely this desperate need to deal with an undocumented problem is driven by the aggressive vendors who are helping the Commissioners define what the Commissioners need.  If indeed the current systems are broken, let’s see some real evidence and let the citizens have a voice in the change that, if needed, can come at a much lower price.

Paul Roman


Support for Trump and his views on immigration

To the Editor:

I am compelled to respond to the highly prejudiced and inaccurate column, “Trump – Heartless Tyrant,” by Jim Carter in the June 21 edition of this paper.

First, President Trump was elected by the citizens of our state and nation, and one of his primary promises was to address illegal immigration.  Just a few facts:  Of the 12,000 children who have recently been brought into this country, only 2,000 were accompanied by their parents.  The vast majority, 10,000 or more, were brought in illegally by non-parents.  The nation is now saddled with how to deal with these children.  Our immigration authorities have and are making every effort to deal with this issue humanely.

Our President has made great progress in restoring our economy, and we now have the lowest unemployment rates in our history.  The President and the First Lady are good people who are committed to making our country safe and prosperous, and they are committed to securing our borders.

 Joe Tanner


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