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Trash Container Ordinance

                This week I received a letter from the City of Chester outlining a new ordinance regarding my rollout trashcan – where to roll it to, where to roll it from, and exactly what time to do both.  It also threatened me with loss of my can and a fine if I don’t comply.  Wonderful! I thought.  The town must be in great shape indeed if City Council has the time to put this much thought into the negative aesthetic value of my trashcan and its placement.  Employment and literacy must be up; crime must be down!  All the vacant and dangerously disintegrating corporate properties that were scattered all over town just last night must have been miraculously restored!  The underpaid and overworked police force must have finally received the support and relief they need!  Heavens to glory, the Christmas lights must finally be down!

                Seriously, once again, the well-meaning souls we have put in charge have decided to focus on something of great interest to a very few of us and bring down their mighty hammer while turning a blind and/or helpless eye on the stuff that really matters, great and small.  Honestly, how many Cestrians are this disturbed by the sight of a trash container still huddled at the curb 24 hours after pick-up?  (Anybody who cites ‘property values’ should be ashamed of themselves – unsightly trash containers are the least of the worries of anybody trying to sell a house right now.)  I think far more of us would prefer less crime in the streets, fewer public health hazards, and maybe a little less Christmas cheer after Mardi Gras.  I know the bigger problems seem insurmountable and that Council is making an effort, but it makes sense to me to stay focused on trying to solve them before going after something like this.  How much money was spent sending these letters out and, for that matter, paying Council members for the time spent crafting and passing the ordinance?  How much more money will be spent enforcing it?  Could no one on Council think of any better way to spend these funds?

                Filing for candidates for City Council closed last week; we’re entering a new election season.  This ordinance is the law, and every citizen is well advised to obey it, regardless of how trivial it might or might not seem .  But I for one will remember the priorities of the incumbents when I get to the voting booth, and I’ll be very curious to hear if their challengers agree.