Thanksgiving thoughts said prematurely, too political

Friday, November 18, 2011

This week's column was going to be about the 2012 campaign or the White House and how obvious it is that the incumbent will be re-elected and we might all be thankful that we don't have to worry about that anymore.

After all, Bill Clinton got re-elected with the Monica Lewinsky affair in full bloom. Richard Nixon was re-elected with Watergate and, if it weren't for a helicopter crash during a daring desert raid gone wring, Jimmy Carter might have been re-elected.

But why kill the goose that laid the golden egg for political cartoonists, political pundits and commentators?

Thankfully, we still have 11-1/2 months of the silly season - nationally.

Meanwhile, they don't pay me to solve national problems.

Here in Marshal County, two municipal boards have discussed the issue raised by County Commissioner Don Ledford. Is there a way to save taxpayers money by consolidating government services to eliminate duplication of effort, or should we go all the way and merge the city and the county, as is the question on the March 6 ballot in Maury County?

There was a brief mention Thursday last week about "letting the county take that over" - meaning the county's solid waste department might manage Lewisburg's curbside recycling program.

Marshall County Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas already manages the sorting of the paper, plastic and metal collected by the city's garbage trucks. They no longer collect trash. That's done by a contractor since the time when Waste Management had not been granted permission to expand at Cedar Ridge Landfill.

Now that the company can expand the landfill, there is to come a time when tipping fees will resume their flow down from trash mountain to the county Courthouse Annex and into the Solid Waste Fund.

Waste Management has already told Lewisburg councilmen that it will grant free dumping when the landfill is reopened.

Meanwhile, Chapel Hill and Cornersville have re-negotiated trash collection service deals for residents there.

So is there a benefit for residents - local property taxpayers and those who pay utility rates for trash collection - if the management of those contracts is merged into one department? It would probably reduce the workload for three city administrators. As for whether it would result in a unified larger contract with a lower per-household price, well, that's one of the things that could be studied by the committee sought by Ledford, among other things.

The county's solid waste committee could mull this one over, but there are probably other services that could be blended.

How much will it save? Who knows?

Consolidated police, fire and ambulance dispatch is another area to explore.

Now, as far as the presidential election: If big business would only come to its senses that they're stuck with the president they've got, and go ahead and make investments, maybe the economy would get better and they'd save a bunch of money on election campaigns.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.