Friday, March 26, 2010

A windfall in trash for Idaho Falls

As the Idaho Falls City Council’s decision to increase the maximum littering fine to $1,000 will be a positive financial boon, and make the city appear more pristine; it will probably also include some far-reaching ramifications not anticipated. With this in mind, city leaders should consider the following, for clamping down on the strongest rubbish offenders:

First, the city should appoint a scrappy trash czar. For the probationary period, the czar’s salary could be contingent on the amount of fines, staff metes out. City elders can waive the probationary period off early, when they see how well this new rubbish office flourishes.

For keeping politicians in line; whose signs trash roadsides, long after elections; the agency should require a down payment, refundable after the czar certifies that office-runners have done their best to retrieve outstanding signs. For election winners, the czar’s staff should seize these dull signs from the gutter as important evidence and forensically examine them for the amount of rosy promises broken to constituents, then levy fines against the value of each broken pledge.

Another ideal way to improve the streets would be to equip garbage trucks with an array of video cams, fed directly into City Hall. When the recorders detect trash blowing from overfilled cans, they can automatically add $1,000 fines to homeowners’ next bills. For trash blowing off the collecting trucks themselves, city engineers could develop an automated self-fining system.

To cut off the most poisonous trash, afflicting the city: The Litter-Czar’s office should engage in a partnership with Homeland Security; setting up safe ports of entry to Idaho Falls. Routine Geiger counter inspections at city entrances, to monitor nuclear lab workers transporting radiation into town, would be a productive way to perk up coffers, meanwhile, protecting the shining city from this disgustingly insidious menace.

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