Wilder's Trash Talk
Sniff, sniff. Do you smell something? Sort of like a combination of rotting oranges, coffee grounds and dirty diapers? Wait! It’s coming from Richmond! You see, Mayor Doug Wilder is threatening to cut back on trash services in the city, because City Council, in its budget, shaved 1 percent from the allotments for city agencies. That means $600,000 less for the Department of Public Works, according to this morning’s Times-Dispatch. It also reports that the department spends $12.6 million to collect the city’s trash and $10.9 million in administrative costs. City Councilman Manoli Loupassi, whom you could almost see shaking his head without the benefit of a picture, said that 1 percent decrease was expected to affect expenditures like computers and office supplies. Not, you know … actual services. But of course, Doug has pounced on another opportunity to stick it to Council, by threatening the services that make people crazy -- namely, removal of their rotting oranges, coffee grounds and dirty diapers, and blaming Council for it. Oh, and just for fun, he also threw in a threat to close neighborhood recreation centers early because of the cuts in Parks and Recreation. What else could he do? The man’s hands are tied, really.
The mayor dropped this little bomb in “Visions,” a newsletter that goes out electronically to about 10,000 people. There were no details offered, nor would Wilder comment for this morning’s paper but his spokesman, Linwood Norman, offered this nugget: “The mayor will have an elaboration tomorrow.” I hope that’s not as painful as it sounds.
As for that awful smell … well, it’s obviously not the trash. Not yet, anyway. So I suppose it’s just the stench of Wilder politics. But we’re used to that.