Vacuuming leaves is an unnecessary public expense
Why is Lexington still utilizing those leaf vacuuming trucks?
Homeowners rake their leaves to the edge of the curb and wait weeks for the truck to come. If it rains, a portion of the leaves find their way into the gutter and down the storm drains, where they clog the drains and creeks. Clogged waterways lead to flooding. This is in direct conflict with the policy of the city that nothing be put down the storm drains.
The Urban County Government makes "yard barges" free to homeowners and arranges to have the full bags removed as part of the regular Herbie, Lennie and Rosie pickups. It's easier to blow leaves to the edge of the curb and walk away, but the vacuum service costs taxpayers in gas, vehicle maintenance and manpower. It is only utilized by a small number of homeowners; in my neighborhood it's easy to see who bags and who doesn't, and most people bag.
It's time for the LFUCG to abolish the service and move forward with the yard barge program. How ridiculous is it to expect the county to provide vacuum cleaning service for every yard in Lexington?
Trydon St. Clair
This idea will cost you
Just when you think our mayor and council have pegged the needle on ways to waste money, they keep up a steady stream of vacuous ideas.
We have spent millions on Purchase of Development Rights, which pays more than $1,500 per acre to purchase essentially nothing. The program pays landowners to not do what they have no intention of doing or to not do what the Planning Commission would not allow them to do. And then there is the Lily program, which subsidizes, to the tune of $75 each, the purchase of green rain barrels. That's right, rain barrels.
Now enter perhaps the most inane of them all. The Herald-Leader described the proposal to "bring Town Branch creek to the surface" after more than 100 years. The article discussed the work of the Downtown Development Authority to seek proposals from design firms for a plan to recover the creek. So far, the DDA has used funds raised privately and through sponsorships. I certainly have no problem with using private funds for this plan or any other enterprise, regardless of how patently dumb the proposal.
It does appear that this idea has clearly left the station and will likely bear the bitter fruit of more taxes for Fayette County folks. Our mayor says, "then we will move toward finding revenue sources." Don't think that the "revenue sources" won't be your taxes.
And all this while police and fire protection are being scaled back.
Rid GOP of RINO
The RINO (Republican in name only) in the Republican tent is the Tea Party. The Tea Party runs candidates against Republicans in primaries, then loses elections that a Republican would win. Would a real Republican run a candidate against Orrin Hatch? The Tea Party did.
The Republican brand has been damaged, not because of conservative Republicanism but because of the adolescent "my way or the highway" approach to governance of the Tea Party. The Grand Old Party can again be grand by rejecting the extremism the Tea Party espouses and returning to its roots. Would the Tea Party be embraced by conservative icons like Barry Goldwater, William Buckley or Ronald Reagan? I think not.
The Tea Party cannot exist without the infrastructure of the Republican Party. It's time for the Republican National Committee to withdraw support from any Tea Party member running for office then recruit and finance moderate Republicans to run in those elections.
Then the Tea Party can have its own convention, its own platform and its own candidates instead of masquerading as Republicans.
We may disagree on whether America is a center-right or center-left nation but we are definitely not the extreme right that the Tea Party represents.
Terry Burkhart is regional CEO of the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross. His letter thanking donors should have said Xerox Corp. staffed an additional phone bank for Hurricane Sandy relief.