Friday, August 16, 2013, by Buddy Saunders
Mayor Cluck isn’t the only mayor who pushes an agenda that rewards deep pockets while picking the pockets of taxpayers. Here in Arlington every homeowner pays for curbside recycling although about half of us don’t use it.
However, in such matters, the residents of Arlington have been more successful at stopping at least some of the wasteful spending and crony welfare other cities with less organized citizens have had foisted upon them.
We Arlingtonians didn’t stop Mayor Cluck’s $65 million bicycle plan from being passed, but you’ll notice the bike lane build-out that was to narrow many of our streets isn’t happening.
Mayor Cluck wanted a permanent restriction on citizen water use. That didn’t happen.
Yes, his $10 million curbside recycling gift to the city’s trash hauler did squeak through, thanks to some adroit misinformation, but you’ll notice the second phase of the plan—switching trash pickup to carts—isn’t happening. That saves citizens $15 to $20 million.
Opinion Arlington (originally SOS Arlington Save Our Streets) is proud of the role we played in crippling these bad ideas. Yes, they may not be totally dead, at least while we have our current mayor, but should these dollar eaters rise from the grave, we’ll be ready for then.
Having said the foregoing, we don’t in any way suggest that Opinion Arlington played a deciding role in stopping agendas that were good for the deep-pocketed few and bad for the rest of us. Far from it. We are just a few, without the dollars and deep pocket access the City has. Opinion Arlington is the little David standing again the three-headed Goliath of the establishment—government, crony capitalism and a lap dog local press. Against such odds we’d have been crushed in a minute were it not for one thing—YOU!
Yes, you, God bless you. It was ultimately you, a concerned citizen, joining your voice with other citizens, who made the difference each time.
You are not yet enough in number to bring better leadership to Arlington, but already you have shown City Hall that they can’t run roughshod over your rights, treat you like bumpkins, and shake your pockets empty for the benefit of City Hall glad-handers.
Other cities have mayors like Mayor Cluck, but not all have citizens like you. Arlington is indeed a city where too few citizens vote, but we are not alone. And where citizens fail to watch those they elect, they pay a price in both personal freedom and in needless taxation.
A case in point is Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second largest city at 400,000, making it just a bit bigger than Arlington. Tulsa’s mayor isn’t named Cluck, but he has a similar interest in attending to the well being of the trash removal industry in his city.
Mayor Bartlett instituted a “green waste” pickup program, adding a $1.09 per month fee to trash pickup, plus an additional 50c fee per bag of yard waste. The scam in this case wasn’t recycling, it was recycling the yard waste into mulch. After the fact, citizens learned that the yard waste was being burned instead of mulched. When citizens demanded their money back, Mayor Bartlett refused to consider doing so.
Sound a bit familiar?
The only difference between these two peas-in-a-pod mayors is that Arlington has a growing body of informed citizens while poor Tulsa is yet to get there.
The moral of this story is that those who turn a blind eye to poor governance get more of the same, along with a bleeding pocket book.