I was at an Oakdale City Council meeting tonight, and wanted to point out a pleasant result. There was a report about the placement of public trash cans in locations near trails. The city engineer had the units installed and then monitored to determine if and how they were used. He reported that they were not really used, and remarked that they cost about $300 to service them for about a 6 month period. I knew what I, as a taxpayer, would do, and waited to hear what they would do about the installations. There was some discussion, that ultimately resulted in the decision to remove them and relocate two to other locations to determine if they would make an impact there. If they did not, the decision was to just pull them without further consideration.
Next there was a bidding contract award for $2.1 or $2.4 million for blacktopping. This was $400,000 less than earlier estimates had been for the project. A very nice and well managed bidding process!
You might ask why I find the decision about $300 worthy of being mentioned, when compared to the $400,000. The reason is found in one of the more egregious traits of many governmental groups. The pernicious, progressive, growth of government cost is often the result of simply starting a program and then never reviewing and terminating it when its found to be ineffective, or not caring to follow up. It just continues to draw resources and is perpetuated along with all the other useless programs that accumulate.
The Bible has a verse that applies well to this, Luke 16:10:
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
The appropriate handling, and not wasting, of even small expenses bodes well to the thoughtful use of the money we as tax payers give to government. I hope they continue to make good decisions on the small things. Then I will have reason to believe they will be making good decisions on the big things as well!