Yesterday, Toledo City Council held a committee meeting to discuss the administration proposal to transfer garbage collection to Lucas County. Council had previously approved the county issuing a Request For Proposal (RFP) to see what kind on interest there might be for contracting out the collection of garbage. The Commissioners approved that RFP last week.
Today's headline about the committee meeting reads:
Councilmen drag heels on trash decision
When you read the article, you find that members of council had some serious questions about the plan and the claimed 'savings.'
In fact, I talked about one of the concerns last week when I filled in on WSPD for Brian Wilson, so I'm glad someone was listening and is now raising the question. The RFP calls for the 'option' of buying the city's newly purchased automated trucks for $7 million. But we paid $12.2 million for them about a year ago. The $7 million isn't enough to cover our debt on the trucks - and it's only an option for the bidder to consider. If the bidder doesn't want to purchase the trucks, they don't have to - which means that we'll still be paying for them despite the fact that they won't be in use.
I also took a look at the budget numbers that don't add up in this post from earlier today.
Then there are the questions members of council raised about the obligation to cover the refuse department employee pensions (for forever, it seems) as well as the costs the city will still have to pay to actually dump the garbage in a landfill.
These are serious concerns and getting clear answers to the questions is part of the duty of the members of council. They aren't 'dragging their heels' - they are, in this case, being responsible representatives.
The headline is clearly the opinion of the headline writer. There is no quote in the article that might have supported the opinion as a claim and only the mention of the administration's arbitrary deadline to support the erroneous conclusion.
The headline could have easily read, 'Council considers costs, savings of trash plan' or even partial use of the sub-headline, 'Council raises questions on trash decision.' Either of these would have been both accurate and truthful without expressing an opinion in the news section.
Now, if this had been a headline for an editorial, it would have been perfect, as it expresses the opinion of the editorial board. But since this was the news section, it deserves to be #9 in the ever-growing list of bias examples at The Blade.