A few weeks ago a notice was published in this paper that the practice of the city of Cleveland providing trash bags to its residents would be abolished. It is my understanding that the price of these trash bags has always been included in the city's garbage collection fees. I'm well aware that all kinds of misinformation about such things can be easily acquired and I hope that the information given to me fits into that category. It is my understanding that this practice is being discontinued due to some local merchants complaining to the state Attorney General, claiming that their businesses were being negatively impacted due to the city's involvement in "retail sales" resulting in an injunction against this practice being issued by the Attorney General. I don't know if this is true or not. If it is I have a few questions:
1) Why has it taken so long for this issue to be addressed? I have lived in Cleveland for almost 10 years and the city has been issuing these trash bags for as long as I have lived here. Why is this just now a problem?
2) If this practice is being discontinued due to local merchants' complaints, who are these merchants? I would like to know and I think the public has a right to know. If I knew I can guarantee that I will never purchase a trash bag from that merchant.
3) Since the issuance of these trash bags is being discontinued will our garbage collection fees be reduced accordingly? If not, why not?
I know that this may seem a small thing to some, and in reality it is. However, if it is true that one or more of our local merchants is being so petty as to make an issue of this practice we, as the tax paying public ought to know who this merchant (or merchants, as the case may be) is. Furthermore, if, as a merchant, your business is so dependent on the sale of a few trash bags then you obviously are in far more trouble than those few sales will remedy.
I believe these are valid questions and would be a good thing for the intrepid investigative reporters of the venerable Bolivar Commercial newspaper to pursue.
Thank you for your time and attention.