BC Streamlines And Smith Wants A Pat On The Back?

recyclepostcard

If you live in Baltimore County, you might have noticed the oversized, full color, glossy postcard that arrived in your mailbox over the last week.  The front of it looks like a cheesy bulk mail advertisement and the back makes me wonder if Smith has found a way around term limits.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back and look through your junk mail in your recycling pile (and if you don’t recycle…shame on you).  Starting February 1, you can throw all your recycling into one big bin (no plastic bags) or box and they’ll take it all (including an expanded array of plastics and glass).  It’s called Single Stream Recycling, and yippee ky yi yay, it’s here!

I get it.  You’re probably wondering, “who gives a damn, it’s a postcard.”  Well, I do; not so much about the postcard, but about the arrogance that accompanies it.  Why does the county deserve a pat on the back for being the last one to the plate?  Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince Georges, and even Baltimore City already have Single Stream programs in place.  We moved to Catonsville from Anne Arundel County Laurel in July 2008.  At my first neighborhood association meeting, I had the pleasure of meeting all of my elected officials, including Councilman Moxley.  Guess what was the first thing I asked him?  Yep, “Mr. Moxley, when do you think the county will switch over to single stream recycling like Anne Arundel and Howard?”  His response to me? He shrugged his shoulders and went on about the cost of landfills and such.  It wasn’t even on their agenda at the time, and he wasn’t sure when it would get there. His answer didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time (still doesn’t).  Wouldn’t an increase in recycling result in less trash in the landfills?  But what do I know?

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear that we were finally crossing over.  The system we currently have is far from user-friendly.  If you miss a day or put out the wrong thing or a holiday or snow day comes up, you’re stuck with your paper or plastic for a whole month.  We recycle as much as we possibly can, so with a house of 5, you can imagine just how much we can accumulate.  Needless to say, I am head over hills excited, and I’m glad the county is finally catching up with the rest of the world, but to build up the Executive’s ego and make it seem like our friends on the council are scratching our backs is ridiculous.  I feel more like they’re throwing us a bone.  By the way, you won’t be getting your own recycling bin either, but that doesn’t bother me as much.  It was just another corner that needed to be cut.

Speaking of bones, anybody get their property value assessments?  Mine went down…a whopping $10,000.  Now, don’t get me wrong, again, I’m thrilled that it went in the right direction, but the assessment is still higher than the market value.  Another bone perhaps.  Ooh, maybe I could take the assessment to the bank and they could use that as the appraisal and give me a higher equity line.  Pretty sure, it doesn’t work that way.  Assessments are only good for one thing…taking my money.  Whoa, sorry for that tangent.  I guess I’m a little more bitter about that than I thought.

Back to Smith’s shameless self-promotion.  Oh wait, did I just write that?  It must be the lateness of the hour combined with the decaf coffee I had that I’m pretty sure wasn’t decaf.  Below you’ll find the press release from Chris Cavey and the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee.  And here you’ll find a blog entry from none other than our good friend at Patuxent Publishing, Bryan Sears.

Regardless of the message, the postcard, or otherwise, if you’re not already recycling, you should.  It couldn’t be any easier, so buy an extra trashcan and a can of spray paint and get ready, because come February 1st, I expect to be able to drive around the entire county and find a bin outside of every house.  And I am thankful that these councilmen are finally putting our money to good use.

SMITH USES COUNTY MAILING TO PROMOTE SELF, NOT RECYCLING

Chris Cavey, Chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Party, issued the following statement about the tens of thousands of glossy mailings apparently sent by Baltimore County concerning the county’s recycling program:

“It is true Baltimore County’s families could use a mailing or two to learn about the new recycling program, instead, our county government sent out hundreds of thousands of postcards that amount to a personal promotional campaign by our County Executive,” Cavey commented.  “Half the postcard was used for a message from the County Executive; no doubt it is intended to promote Jim Smith before the 2010 election.”

“We’re quite used to Jim Smith’s endless and shameless self-promotion,” Cavey concluded, “but this practice needs to stop.   Baltimore County citizens should be offended that they are paying for potential candidate promotion with their hard earned tax dollars.”

The Baltimore County Republican Party commends the County government for its step toward single stream recycling and recommends a public awareness and education program that does not include political self fulfillment.

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