By John Rozean, a lowly Belton Citizen,
I remember Fred Flintstone. He always forgot his anniversary, but he never forgot trash day. Luckily, one anniversary did fall on trash day so he was able to remember more accurately the day in which he vowed to love his wife “as long as you both shall live.”
Well, for the holidays I didn’t even know when trash day was. See, my day for my area falls on a Tuesdays. So for two weeks of holiday cheer, we got one pickup when we usually get two – one on Tuesday, one on Friday. This is all happening ironically, during the time when trash creation is up by 25 percent – according to http://planetgreen.discovery.com. So our city government has chosen to decrease trash pickup during a time when trash creation is up? Make sense? Not really.
Ok. That’s fine. That’s what I thought last week. Until I realized that this debauchery was happening two times in a row. I have to admit. I don’t think about trash day a whole lot. I’m no Fred Flintstone. I know that. I get busy with my job and such. Sorry. I’ve got a busy job. But wait, don’t the city officials as well? But part of their job is to keep us informed.
A comment I received from Amanda Cox, the Belton Utility Billing Department Supervisor, was that they in fact, the department did put out information in the Belton Journal and the Temple Tribune. But I could not and still can not get a hit using a variety of search engines. I get Temple and Killeen hits on trash pickup but no Belton.
Speaking of the internet, the Belton government has a website that it would have only taken a matter of minutes, and a virtual cost of pennies, to put the same press release they sent to these newspapers on the website. Can we get with the times. I can’t help but point out that the Temple government website had their holiday hours listed. Killeen’s web also had their holiday hours listed – which, by the way do not changed for the holidays, according to their government website.
Ok. I’m not comparing cities. I’m sure there are those of you out there who are saying to yourself, “If you don’t like it here, then move there.” Fine, I thought America was about competition. You offer a bad product it will not sell. Consumers will move on to another product. Is that what we want here in Belton? People to move away because the other municipalities offer a better government than we have here in Belton? Of course not.
And another point. I was awoken at 1:30 a.m. in the morning by my dogs’ barking. It was suggested by my family members that they heard someone in the garage. I went out with baseball bat in hand to find a Belton Police Officer placing a pink warning citation for having an open garage door on my freezer in my garage. He then threatened my dogs by pointing out that he would shoot them if they got out and attacked him. Hmmm. . . . Big government? Also, a week later I was cited with another pink citation for having my vehicle’s wheels parked on my own lawn. “No parking on the lawn,” it said. I had searched the Belton City website at that time too. There was no mention of such a code on the website. After a call to the police department where I asked for the code number, I was told by a city official that, “no, it was not on the website but I could come by and pick up a printed copy at the station.” Hmmm . . . . Big Government? Big brother?
I’ve worked both as a webmaster and a public information officer. It does not take a lot to turn the press release into a “html” or “pdf” and post it on your website. After all, someone had typed it up already for release to the papers. Come on, the very least you can do “Big Brother” is keep up informed before you initiate gestapo tactics and start entering my home. Today it is my open garage. Tomorrow it is my living room. Today I am confused about trash day. Tomorrow there are no “new” speed limit signs posted, yet I am ticketed – because I did not go pick up a hard copy of the new law from city hall.
Can we get with the times. . . Big brother?