It's a dog's death
It is a sad fact that almost all stray or unwanted pets are killed on our behalf. Yes killed, sometimes slaughtered on mass to rid us of the responsibility of looking after them. We are all to blame, we substitute words like "euthanase" or "put to sleep," "shelter" and "pound" to help us feel better, but it is our fault the Cleveland Animal Shelter has to kill unfortunate pets.
I was at the Bradley County Landfill a few years back, arriving there just after a load of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens had been unceremoniously dumped amongst the trash. Even though my job prepares me for disturbing events I was shocked and emotionally upset at the sight. I am an animal lover, but I am usually not sentimental when it comes time for the need to kill them. We do eat them, so someone has to kill them for us, but the animals at the landfill were different, they were meant to be companions, it seemed such a waste.
My first reaction was to blame the staff at the shelter for being uncaring, dumping them with the trash was a travesty for those wonderful creatures, but on reflection I realized that it was my fault, or at least partly my fault. I had abdicated responsibility for this unpleasant task to others when I should have got involved, tried to make a difference in those defenseless animals lives. At least I could have tried. What could I do to save pets no one wanted, I asked myself?
The ugly fact is that most of these wonderful creatures were doomed to die from the moment of their birth. There are too many of them for the homes available and spay-neuter programs are obviously infective at keeping numbers down. People are turned off adopting from a community shelter because of the cost. A dog or cat can be found elsewhere free of charge without much effort so why are shelters pricing these creatures to death?
Unfortunately, our community must face the fact that it will be necessary to kill otherwise healthy pets but surely we can do it in a respectful way and improve life for them while they are alive.
It is possible to do this inexpensively with determination and the help of sheriff Tim Gobble. One community in Arizona has non-violent female prisoners care for unwanted pets until they are either adopted or killed. Both pets and inmates seem to benefit from this arrangement and it frees up animal control personnel to do a more humane job.
Landfill managers are not unfeeling people. I am sure the shelter board could persuade them to set aside a place dedicated for the respectful burial of these unfortunate animals. It would not take much effort and could set Cleveland apart. Perhaps male inmates could dig and care for the animal cemetery.
It is just a thought. What do you think?
It's a waste of money
Cleveland and Bradley county has spent a fortune over the years on hiring freelance construction managers for its multi- million dollar construction projects. The fees amount to 3 or 4 percent of the total project cost and judging by the high cost per square foot we are paying, does not seem to be cost effective. If the cost of a new school is $10 million, the manager gets $300,000 to $400,000. Just by not hiring a manager would save the taxpayer the same amount guaranteed but there is no guarantee of savings if one is hired. The construction managers themselves work the public works circuit, going from town to town always in a different place but not always with a different general contractor. Are these relationships healthy for the communities hiring them?
The winning bid for a contract comes with a price and guarantees of quality and performance set by the governing body financing the project, with appropriate performance bonds required as part of the deal, so there are already built-in safeguards protecting the community. If a construction manager is really necessary, one could be hired permanently at less cost to oversee all local projects and that person's loyalty to the community for which he works could be trusted.
That's what I think. What do you think?
The tax to prevent a tax?
It is not unusual for a governing body to propose a tax using the threat of a property tax increase to persuade voters to adopt it. A tax is a tax is a tax is a tax, no matter how it is packaged, and someone will be out of pocket because of it. The idea that somehow you will be exempt from paying is a fallacy and a neat way of presenting something known to be unpopular.
The Cleveland City Council want more of your money and are trying to use this popular gimmick to relieve you of it. They are proposing a half cent sales tax increase, saying it will avoid a property tax increase to pay for "much needed" building and road maintenance projects. And besides, they say, if they don't raise the sales tax the state could jump in and raise it, keeping the money for themselves. So, according to our esteemed city council, the proposed tax is a good tax, one that should be welcomed with open arms by your positive vote at the special election needed for its adoption.
We are on the brink of a catastrophic recession with the prospect of severe unemployment because of business failures and the economic downturn, so what do the Cleveland City Council propose.... a tax increase that will make Cleveland less competitive and further deepen the effects of the financial crisis for local people?
What should they be doing? They should get with the program like the rest of us and accept that the spending spree is over, at least for the time being.
They should conserve what they have and hunker down for the possibly tough times ahead. It might also be prudent for the city council to concentrate on how they will continue paying city employees with falling revenues from a less wealthy community that is already reeling from industry downsizing and growing unemployment. Placing city growth on the back burner until more prosperous times may be a necessity they don't want to face but forcing a sales tax increase at this time will be a difficult pill to swallow for most voters. No matter how attractively it is packaged.
That's what I think. What do you think?