Judging from the Empire's front-page headline, "Mayoral race takes on bears," the four mayoral candidates represent an interesting cross-section of leadership styles and priorities. On the bear issue specifically, Sally Smith seems otherwise occupied with "tax reduction issues," Patty Zimmerman appears similarly pressed with "money making" concerns and Jamie Parsons doubts even the existence of bear-proof containers.
Though some candidates may prefer to trivialize the issue, I think this is an excellent opportunity to take responsibility and provide instant leadership; that is, to govern decisively and with certain vision and effect. The fact is, our community does the very least to recycle materials; our garbage is full of food, plastics, harmful solvents, "cleaners" and clearly toxic materials, and we take no responsibility for our waste. This is unprogressive and inexcusable. Our city Fish and Game biologist substantiates that bear-proofing areas and containers is "the ultimate fix to the problem."
Candidate Mark Farmer proposes clear incentives to act cleanly and responsibly in our communities. Still we haggle, we debate and debunk, and ultimately we lose opportunities to govern decisively and with regard for the environment. Without a doubt, bear-proof containers (the less plastic the better, for all you monopolizing bear-proof container manufacturers!) offered at incentive costs to the community will decrease the risk and rate of animal poisonings, create wider venues to recycle, and stem the effects of fatal police intervention, toxic effect and human injury.
The resolution is really quite simple as it is holistic, reverberating and karmic. Governing leaders of our city would do well to not look simply at fiscal issues, but to look for opportunities which favor balance and equity among all inhabitants of our community. One more thing: What kind of solution is Mark Farmer proposing? Well, it is a feminist one, in fact. Blessed be.
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