Sunday, August 23, 2015

Small Town Problems

In this week’s newspaper, The Navasota Examiner, the front page reported how the county judge gave pay raises to employees in a couple of departments without the county commissioners giving their okay. The commissioners thought the employees shouldn’t get across the board raises, even if they were underpaid sheriff deputies. Instead, they thought all the employees should get merit raises; in other words, they should earn their raises.

Well, I’m here to tell you, if that happens, I think the public works employees shouldn’t get squat. (Maybe the county doesn’t have them on payroll; maybe they’re city workers. I get confused about who works for whom since they are all public employees who actually get paid by my neighbors and me--the taxpayers.)

Here’s why I’m peeved at the city works department.

My sweetie and I recently hired the services of ABC Lawn Services from College Station to trim the trees in our front yard. When they were finished (and they did a great job), they gathered the limbs and neatly stacked them in the side yard. We waited three weeks for “heavy trash day." Five men and a truck with a heavy-duty wood chipper machine showed up on Monday morning, looked at our neat piles, and before Ronnie could get downstairs to talk with them, they’d put a slip of paper on the front door with the pre-printed message: Quantity Too Large. If they hadn’t hopped on the truck and already hustled four blocks down the street, I think my man would have chased them.

Ronnie and I had been reading about the brouhaha over city services in The Examiner during previous months, and these workers’ actions were totally passive-aggressive.  You see, the city workers have been balking at the growing trash from broken tree limbs (caused by the dry drought followed by wind and rain). The city council talked about adding an additional charge to our city bill to motivate the workers, but the retired folks raised hell about being on fixed incomes. Then, the city council talked about requiring residents to cut the limbs into sticks and bundle them, but the retired folks raised hell again, this time about ailing bodies and weak backs. I don’t remember ever reading anything about the amount. Which brings up the question: How will the amount diminish if city workers refuse to pick up any of it? Should we ask neighbors to take 5x5x10 lots of it and spread it out so the five workers can spend the day stopping at three houses instead of one?

I’ve been mad as an African killer bee all week, but my man has a cooler head focused on solving problems. Instead of raising Cain, Ronnie had my son come up from Houston with two male buddies on Friday. They took care of the tree limbs, easy peasy—and cleaned out the garage.

The best part, it only cost a six-pack of Bud Light from the Valero gas station and two large Super Supreme pizzas from Pizza Hut.