Ski By Fire

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 26 Feb 2019, 12:20

I can't disagree with you there Yogi!
I don't think an honest poly-TICK-ian exists.
It is usually best to stay out of political arguments because as you pointed out above, it is almost impossible for someone to change their opinion. We have our sources of information, and see falsified reporting from both sides.
Regardless of what side you are on, the opposing side will blow up a sentence to mean something different in their favor.
Happens all day every day!

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 26 Feb 2019, 12:31

I can't believe I read that whole thing from start to finish. Saw no evidence of anything presented.
Reads like the typical Fake News. We already know the Russians were loading up everything they could with fake names and fake news.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 08:29

I will admit that I did not read the full indictments nor any of the subsequent court filings. All I know is that the people going to jail is not fake news. Everything reported in that article came from court documents.

My gut reaction is to agree that the words honest and politician are mutually exclusive. However, I know of one in particular that would come to the house to see how things are going and listen to my laments. She was actually trying to do a good job and was the only representative of mine that ever came to talk things over during the entire thirty years I live in that house. I know the world of politics seems shady to the uninitiated, but that's why it's called politics. Deals are made in ways us average folks do not have access to. All I'm interested in is the end results ... which is why I moved out of Illinois. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 27 Feb 2019, 11:58

I was raised under Home Rule, which is considerably different than Political Rule.
When our town changed from Home Rule to Political Rule, our family moved out of the town.
This may sound surprising since my Grandfather (along with others) founded the town, and he was the Trustee for the town.
Later, when the town incorporated, he was the first and long time Mayor. Yet did not understand politics one iota.
His dying wish was to get our town on the map, which required us to become a 4th class city.
What he didn't realize was that it would change the town from Home Rule to Political Rule, which at that time, he didn't see as all that bad of a change. He was on his deathbed when the vote finally passed.
He was right in a way, it took over a decade for things to change enough the new government became a problem for the citizens of the city. They began tossing businesses out one after another in order to bring in the type of big dollar businesses they wanted.

For the rest of my life, until moving south, I've always remained in unincorporated areas.
Actually, when i moved south, the home I bought first, and the one I am in now was in fact unincorporated.
However, the city of Knoxville decided to annex us, and in so doing more than doubled our taxes, and cut services in half.
Had I been given enough notice this was going to take place, I would have taken the steps necessary to make our area an incorporated town. Unfortunately, I had too many other things to handle to even look into it, and then no time to give it a try. However, it seems the way things work down here is considerably different than how they worked back home.
There are several incorporated towns and villages who have now landed inside of the City of Knoxville. Such is impossible in Missouri, as far as I know.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 15:00

The changes you talk about happen on every scale. When the founder relinquishes control the new management changes everything. That works against the original intent of the founder and any of their followers. I've seen it happen to corporations and lived through such a change of power during my tenure at Motorola. I guess you can't expect the new people to embrace the old ideas given that they have minds of their own. The old management is out for a reason.

When you get right down to it there is no such thing as home rule. All the authority derived under such rules are granted by the higher authority known as the state. In Illinois home rule simply meant that you had taxing authority in addition to all the other taxing bodies up the ladder of command. Each state does have it's own idea of what home rule means, but each state also has laws and taxes that supersede or are added onto whatever the home ruled body comes up with. Thus, I don't know what your grandfather actually gave up when he agreed to abandon home rule. I'd imagine there are limitations to being home ruled, limitations that prevent growth beyond a certain level. I guess you can be happy with those limitations, but I see it like the people today who are perfectly content running Windows XP. It works. Why fix it? :rolleyes:

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 28 Feb 2019, 11:39

Our town was not all that unique as far as Home Rule goes, but did have some amazing features not found in most other towns and cities.
One major aspect of our town was no victim of a crime ever suffered a loss, unless of course it was death.
The only two things not covered by the towns restoration policy were money and chickens. Because nobody knows how many chickens they have and cannot prove how much money was stolen.
Back then Protect and Serve meant exactly that.
Citizens were protected from crime by those who served to keep it that way.

The town would make good for your loss from theft, either by replacement or paying to fix the damage.
The town would get their money back because of our 110% restitution laws.
Of course they had to catch the criminal first, which they usually did.

Law enforcement in our town began as the Mutual Protection Association, mainly to stop cattle rustling at first.
Because the Sheriff's department was understaffed, the Mutual Protection Association received authority from the state to form a Law And Order Society.
After the society was formed, the Mutual Protection Association became more like an unpaid insurance company and handled reparations for thefts and vandalism.
It was up to the Law and Order Society to obtain restitution from the criminals.

If I recall, besides our town, Rock HIll, Maplewood, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, Kleinville (which no longer exists), and a few other town around us had the same laws as we did.
The towns that did not have a law of restitution were Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Frontenac, Huntleigh, Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville.

FWIW: Town government staff was all volunteer, no paid poly-TICK-ians at that time. Only town employees working for the government were paid, such as secretaries, and maintenance workers. Maybe I should word that differently, those elected to staff government offices were not paid positions, but most of those hired to do various jobs were paid.
Even later, before we had separate police and fire departments, the firemen were all volunteers, and only a few upper police staff were paid. This does not mean those working as policemen were not paid a salary, but it did not come from the town, it came from the county taxes.
Sorta hard to explain. As a town, we collected no property taxes. Only after we formed an official combined police/fire department, did taxes paid to the county get returned to the city for what was taxed to cover police and fire protection.

However, long before this time, to have the volunteer fire department put out a fire on your property, you had to be a member for fire protection. There were many who chose not to pay the small annual fee to the volunteer fire department, so if their house, barn, or whatever caught fire, the only thing the fire department did was make sure it didn't spread to the property of those who did pay for fire protection, while waiting for the county fire department to arrive to put out the fire at the unpaid property. It was so cheap, it was stupid not to pay the annual fee.
Later, the fire department became a part of the towns fire department and paid for by real estate taxes to the county, which were then given back to the town to cover the fire department's costs. This ended the volunteer fire department.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 01 Mar 2019, 08:52

The restitution laws you cite are pretty interesting. The part about not knowing how many chickens you have is the best part. :mrgreen:
You say that restitution was financed by the criminals who committed the crimes. That works as long as the criminal is able to pay back the damages. I'm guessing most could not which is why they did the crime in the first place. My question is how would the shortfalls in 110% repayment be covered? I don't suppose there was much crime in such a community, but even back then nothing was free.

The word communism came to mind while I was reading your comments. Of course there was no class wars in your town, but a Mutual Protection Association does bring images of collectivism and socialism to mind. People volunteering to run the community is quintessential communism. The good news is that it seemed to work as long as everyone agreed to that way of life. But, like any sociopolitical system there are limitations to it's effectiveness. Once the population reaches a certain level the ideals upon which it was founded give way to reality. If I recall correctly any community greater than about 10,000 people in size begins to crumble.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 01 Mar 2019, 11:27

Many laws have changed drastically over the years.
If you were drafted and could not go for an excused reason, you still had to send someone else (usually a relative) in your place.
Restitution was fairly simple actually. They did the time for the crime of course, but they were not released until full-restitution had been made, either by them working it off, or by a friend or relative paying the damages for him.
The reason I said 10% more was their lodging fee after the sentence was served.
They actually had it much better than my great-grandfather who was only paid 12-1/2 cents per day his first couple of years after arriving here. Prisoners who had debts to pay before being released were paid 50 cents per day back then, and one-dollar per day while my grandfather was trustee and head of the law and order society. A dollar a day was much more than most folks earned at a job back then too. But it was hard and dirty work usually. More often than not, digging by hand for one reason or another. Some of the older buildings in town, their foundations, and/or basements were dug using prison labor. Money came from both the county, and those businesses who hired them to do the dirty work.
FWIW: The County Commissioners were paid three-dollars a day during this period.
The Mutual Protection Association ran from about 1848 through 1878 when the Law and Order Society was established.
However, the MPA didn't exactly end, it just changed rolls as became more like an insurance company of sorts, funded by the town. The Law and Order society often offered rewards several times higher than what was taken in the theft in order to get someone to turn the criminal in.
For example: A clothing store was held up, and the thief took a couple of suits, a hat, belt, and tie. The L&OS offered a 50 dollar reward and the store owner an additional 25 dollars, for a total of 75 dollars reward for about 20 dollars in merchandise which was stolen. And that is how things were in our town even during the years I was growing up.
Although it is against he law today. If you wrote a bad check in our town, your name was put up on town hall bulletin board for all to see, and a flyer was sent out to all businessmen to not sell to the person. I remember long lists on a hook by our cash register giving the names of deadbeats, those we should never make a charge account for.
Yeppers the name Mutual Protection Association does sorta sound like it is Gangster related, hi hi.
Speaking of which, Jessie James had a charge account at our flower shop, not under that name, it was Mr. Howard.
He always paid his bill up right after every train robbery, hi hi. Of course we didn't know it back then.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 01 Mar 2019, 15:46

My wife's grandmother lived in Iowa in a small town of about 5000 people. Most of the town's residents were retired farmers and/or their family. It truly was that proverbial place where everybody knew everybody else's business. My wife and I made it into the local newspaper when we went to visit her grandma on our honeymoon. She sent us the article from the paper and I kept it for many years before it got lost. The most amazing thing about that town was the local grocery store. People would come in and shop but not pay for their purchase. The store owner, and presumably the shopper, kept a little book with all the outstanding payments due. When the shopper had enough money in their bank account to pay the tab, there was a stack of blank checks at the check out. This worked well because there was only one bank in town. LOL I guess it was part of the farm culture. Farmers didn't have a steady income but they would pay their debts when the crops came in. It was a wonderful honor system that probably would not work today.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 02 Mar 2019, 13:35

And THAT Yogi, is the environment I was raised in.
Schinzing's Market had a wood rack with everyone's charge books lined up.
When you came up to the register, you grabbed your book and handed it to the clerk, usually the owners wife or daughter.
They would add up your purchase on the outside of the brown paper grocery bag, then write the date and total in the book and hand it back to you to stick it back in the rack.

It was not uncommon for them to leave the door open if they had to suddenly go somewhere. Folks would just grab their goods and write down in the book what they bought, or drop some money in a wooden box under the register.
And everyone watched out for everyone else, especially in stores when a stranger was in town.
Trouble is, the town was growing fast, and by the time I was close to driving age, the charge books were now behind the counter out of reach of customers, and the number of open charges dwindled down to only a few.

The Blue Laws were the most interesting, especially to us kids. We could not buy a kite that was not assembled or a balsa wood glider, but could buy one if they were assembled. The store owner would ask us to pick out which one we wanted and he would go in the back room to see if he had one already put together. We know he didn't because us kids all played together with his kids, often in the back room, so we knew what he was doing. Sneaking in back and putting one together, then coming back out saying I found one all ready to go.

I may forget a lot of things, but for some reason I rarely forget the people and stores around us as I grew up. Nor some of the shenanigans we pulled as kids.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 02 Mar 2019, 18:43

There may still be places on earth where the communities are structured as they were when you were growing up. I have a feeling that they might only be in Africa or wherever there is still tribal life. I think you came away with some great values and a wonderful perspective on life. Unfortunately, all those old time ideals are out of context in today's modern world. Knoxville, St Louis, or Chicago could not function on those values no matter how well intended the citizens are. Some call it progress, but it's really only a change in circumstances. We adapt to what is current.

On that honeymoon trip wife's grandma gave us some ferns she was growing along the side of her house. I kept them growing for nearly fifty years at two different house locations. They loved the environment at the last house and spread over a large area of shaded land. I couldn't bring them to this new house because ferns tend not to grow well in clay and direct sunlight. The only thing here that has a chance of lasting fifty years is the crabgrass. :mrgreen:

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 03 Mar 2019, 12:57

I had trees in my yard that my kids raised from seed in a Dixie Cup, and carefully pruned and tended. They were beautiful, but we could not move them. I did move two small trees from one house to another once, but they did not do well in the new location. Didn't exactly die, just never thrived, and their growth was stunted.

Yes the times have changed! Most folks buy insurance to cover their belongings against theft, and their property against vandalism. Thus shifting responsibility for protection by law enforcement and onto the citizens. They no longer protect and serve, they merely clean up after the fact.

As far as I'm concerned, there is not enough punishment for crime anymore and the punishments they do dole out do not fit the crimes. 6 months for cold blooded murder, 15 years for assault, a slap on the wrist for grand theft. And NEVER does the criminal have to make restitution for their crimes. Cities actually get rich off many crimes through hefty fines, while the victim never gets anything. I've seen it happen this way too many times in my lifetime to call it any other way!

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 03 Mar 2019, 16:55

While it's not a new idea, the big push in Washington these days to to privatize prisons. The stated intent is to unburden the government from the expense of running penitentiaries. The actual practice turns over the management of prisons to political favorites and supporters. Plus, the fact that the prison is now a private enterprise forces it to follow the unwritten purpose of every corporation in the world, i.e. to maximize profits. I must say that I don't know how managing a prison can be profitable but it must be because the number of them under private management is increasing. I can't see the best interests of the criminal being served, and much less any concern for the victims. I am of the mindset that property loss due to crime can be recovered one way or the other. But there are crimes such as murder or rape where individual lives are changed forever. No amount of time in jail can ever pay that back.
Last edited by yogi on 04 Mar 2019, 16:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 04 Mar 2019, 12:09

Unfortunately, private prisons has not reduced the cost to government and taxpayers, and may have increased the cost overall.
Private Prisons are not owned by a corporation, they are owned by the particular city who built them for the private company to run for them.
Private prisons get to pick and choose which prisoners they want, and leave the troublemakers in the state run prisons.
If the company running the prison decides it is not making enough money for its stockholders, they simply close up shop and leave the city with the debt for building the facility. The city then has to find someone else to run it, or sell it for repurposing.
Each state knows how much it costs them to house each prisoner. This could be 30 to 60k.
If a city is interested in building a building, and hiring a private company to operate it as a prison, the city would get 20 to 50k and of that pay 10 to 40k out to the private company.
The private company uses a much smaller staff, because they picked better prisoners, and will often cause them to stay longer than they should by apply demerits to prisoners to extend their release date, often over 5% longer than they should be there.
There are many more negative aspects to private prisons than positive, based on the articles I've read about them.
We the taxpayers are still paying out roughly the same amount, the only difference is, who's pockets is it landing in.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 04 Mar 2019, 16:48

wikipedia wrote:CoreCivic, formerly the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), is a company that owns and manages private prisons and detention centers and operates others on a concession basis. Co-founded in 1983 in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas W. Beasley, a Republican Party chairman, Robert Crants, and T. Don Hutto, it received initial investments from the Tennessee Valley Authority, Vanderbilt University, and Jack C. Massey, the founder of Hospital Corporation of America.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoreCivic

We certainly read different material, don't we? Apparently there are some prisons which are indeed owned by private companies, right there in Tennessee. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 05 Mar 2019, 19:25

How about that. They didn't come up in any of the searches I did.
As you can see, it is super late tonight.
I was in the hospital for an exploratory.
No food since 7am Monday so I was famished, and no drink since 7am this morning.
They found nothing wrong, not even the stuff from old age they expected, so I got a clean bill in that area of examinations.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 06 Mar 2019, 09:54

I did take note that you were late posting today. Then again, who around here keeps a regular schedule? I am very happy to learn about your clean bill of health. All that hard work you put into staying alive is paying off.

As I pointed out elsewhere the current push to privatize prisons apparently is politically motivated more than it is an attempt to cut costs. I guess Republican Central is located in the heart of Tennessee. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 06 Mar 2019, 12:36

Thanks Yogi - I hate not going with food for two days, and nothing at all to drink for a whole day, before they decide to go in and take a look around. It is good to know they found nothing, not even what they expected to see.

I got up super early this morning to try and catch up with my on-line activities, and about the time I get on a good roll, Comcast goes down for a couple of hours. Now, if only their bill would go down as often as they do, hi hi.

One of my wife's cousins worked at a state prison, not a federal one. It to changed to private management but the state still owns the building and property. The management company takes care of maintenance, repairs, and equipment replacement or repair, but not structural upgrades or additions.
How they are paid is more complex. She said each prisoner goes through an evaluation upon entry, and then 3 and/or 6 months later as necessary, then after that it is an annual evaluation. The starting price is dependent on the entry level tier, and the goal is to reduce this amount through evaluations. A model prisoner earns the company the least amount of money, but also earns them bonuses too. Also, for every rehabilitation activity a prisoner joins, they get another kickback from that. So technically in the end, the better job they do, the more money they will make from the state.
However, the maximum they can make is somewhere around 20% less than what the state determined it cost them to operate the facility per prisoner. So, when you look at it that way, it costs the state 20% less using private management.
The prison she worked at, inmates were not allowed to have jobs outside the prison walls. But the prison does take in work from companies for the facilities they do have to generate the work required. Basically piece-work, not completed items. She quit working for them about 3 years after it went private. I think possibly because the state was withdrawing their own guards after the private company trained theirs to the satisfaction of the state. She don't talk much about why she quit.

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 07 Mar 2019, 07:53

The information you give about the state run prison is quite interesting. I was wondering how it could be profitable to privately manage such a place and you gave some insight into that. It's like the performance reviews I used to get from my employer. If I met certain goals I was retained. If I exceeded those goals I would be rewarded with a raise and/or promotion. Giving that kind of evaluation to prison inmates seems brilliant except for the cap put on the payout by the state. That means there is a limit to the profits of the private company. Now, if we could get hospitals on the same routine that would be Nirvana. Hospitals and doctors should be paid based on the improvement in health of their patients. I'd vote for that. :mrgreen:

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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 07 Mar 2019, 10:56

We've always known it costs more for the government to do something than for a private company, due to the waste in government and too many on salaries that do little to nothing other than take up space to hold a title.

Somewhere in a previous post I mentioned how much it cost for the state to incarcerate a prisoner.
Let's assume it costs the state 30k for each prisoner. Rounding off the cost of all prisoners.
A private company could do the same thing for 20k per prisoner, but they also pick and choose which ones they want.
They get an agreement with the state to do the job for 25k per prisoner, the state saves 5k each prisoner, and the private company makes 5k profit per prisoner.
The amount of profit they make would also depend on the incentive bonuses toward prisoner rehabilitation.
So the private company may only be paid lets say 21k and can build that up to a 25k maximum.
Or they may start at 23k and can go either way based on prisoner performance.

On a similar note:
When I lived in Creve Coeur, we had a Wonderful Private Company, Wilson Refuse who collected our garbage.
We also had the option of two or three other garbage companies we could use, like BFI, Cook, or Blaine.
The subdivision itself got in on the act and only allowed us to pick from two, because they didn't want so many garbage trucks roaming about the subdivision. We thought for sure this would cause the price to go up by limiting us to only two.
However, exactly the opposite happened. So many of us chose Wilson Refuse for our end of the subdivision they were able to cut their rates down a little which made us all happy.
Wilson offered services none of the others did, and for only 1 buck more per month.
You paid 12 bucks for 3 months of curbside service, or 15 bucks for 3 months of garage pad service (meaning the GI cans were alongside the garage within reach of the driveway). This was basically one dollar each pickup in 1980. All prices rose about a buck or two over the next 5 years, and another buck or two over the next 5 years. So by 1990 we were paying Wilson 18.50 for three months of garage pad pickup. I think it was 17.25 for curbside.

Along comes the city with government provided garbage pickup. They LIED to get us to vote for universal garbage hauling, claiming the new garbage service would only cost us 40 dollars per year added to our taxes. Or as they worded it, only 80 cents per garbage pickup, instead of the $1.45 we were currently paying per pickup.
After it passed, sure enough, it appeared on our tax bill as 40 bucks for garbage collection. However, there was another new tax also which was never mentioned, landfill sanitation and maintenance, which was another 15 bucks, and something else also went up but about 5 or 6 bucks associated with the garbage pickup. In other words, we were now paying about the same as were before, only now we did not have garage pad pickup and it was no longer offered. Plus they had more skip days than before too. I mean totally skip a week, not just move it up to the next day from a holiday.

Move ahead another five years, and they decided to provide the garbage cans. Large cumbersome bins, and we could only have one, and the lid must close or we would get fined. The taxes went up again to cover this cost, but they were hidden and how much more we paid was never fully disclosed. It was hidden within the cities services tax line, and the garbage pickup was no longer shown as a separate line item.
Every 5 years after the government took over picking up our garbage, a new management person was added to the government payroll as sanitation service controllers. The original head sanitation controller was paid something like 125k per year, and his two new underlings, area controllers, one was like 90k and the other 75k per year, plus their bennies.

About 4 blocks away from us, Wilson Refuse was till hauling garbage just like they had been doing for us. They still provided garage pad service, and their price was only up to 20.50 curbside and 22.75 garage pad pickup. A full one-third less than we were paying in taxes for garbage pickup.
The problem here is, once the city gets their cash cow running, you can never get them to quit and let us go back to the cheaper and much better liked garbage company.

Shall I get into the Cable monopoly and government kickbacks?

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