Last fall, I joined the Lake Waukomis group moderated by Jim Edwards to get feedback on a proposition for the benefits of all city residents. It concerned the trash pick up day and the fact that the company that provides the service has to perform two trips around the lake to pick up trash and recycling. You see, we have the privilege of placing our bins on the street in front of our homes, whether we live on the upper tier or have nicer lakefront property.
I don’t know how the USPS did it back in the day when the city was young, but all of the mailboxes are on the upper tier side of the street, allowing for the postal service to only have to make one trip around the lake to deliver the mail from their right-hand drive vehicles. Been that way since the first cabin was built, when the city was just a jeep trail and a camp, I suppose. What I noticed since day one of living here was the awkwardness of the trash service arrangement and how the drivers have such a hard time, especially in the winter months when road conditions are not supreme.
So being civic-minded and wanting to create a safer environment for our citizens and especially our children, I had the idea that the less time the trash trucks spent on our roads 48 times a year the better, as sometimes when there are a ton of delivery trucks, contractors, and school buses all vying for their share of the asphalt on Thursdays, it can be a little dangerous for kids trying to get on the bus in the morning and off in the afternoon, because the trash trucks are sometimes still here in the city until 5 or 6 p.m., trying to finish their runs.
My suggestion on the Facebook page was for all residents to volunteer to set out their trash bins on the upper-tier side of the street, and in exchange for our effort from coming together as a tight-knit community we would be rewarded with permanent ongoing large-item dumpster and yard waste service, and free hazardous material and white item pick up service four times a year, for free.
I received mostly good attention from residents that agreed it was a good idea, and because I had already communicated the idea to the trash service company, I actually believed that it could become a reality. BUT- There was resistance from people who shunned the idea, more because it was a new concept, and even more because they considered the source of the suggestion unfit for tabling such a thing to the community. I was astonished at how some mostly lakefront property owners here considered themselves the higher chaste in the community, and for someone from “the upper tier” to try and pull these shenanigans was actually dangerous.
I let the idea swim in the minds of my fellow residents on the Facebook page for less than a week before I removed it and left the group. I answered a ton of questions about where the dumpsters could be located, how much extra services we could achieve from the trash company, and if discounted services were in order, etc., etc. and the more time the proposal was discussed it seemed like the more enemies I was making over the matter. It wasn’t because of the proposal, it was because I was leading the charge of the proposal. An upper-tier ex-felon, trying to add something to the lives of my neighbors. Some even accused me of putting elderly residents in harm’s way, because toting their bins across the street in the winter meant a few more dangerous steps on the treacherous ice, as if the winter conditions and the City of Lake Waukomis snow plow/salt truck would avoid their street intentionally, just so they would break a hip, and it would all be on account of my proposal.
Here lately in the wintertime, just the mere mention of a slight possibility of snow and the plow truck is running round the clock, spreading enough salt to turn the lake into the sea with run-off contamination- it is that bad.
Needless to say, I now have sworn lower-tier enemies, I get scorned at by folks who consider me a threat to them and their way of life, and for trying to creep up on them and force them to change.
I just wanted to get some use out of our north park, it is a good size spot for more boat trailer storage or a great place to locate a dumpster or two for residents to take green waste or old furniture instead of hauling it 40 miles, or paying up to $100 just to get rid of a bed mattress.
I lived on the lower tier here in the city for three years at 523 NW North Shore drive starting in 2000, and it was great. I couldn’t come to an agreement on the purchase price with the homeowner at my last lease renewal, so I bought a home in the upper tier in the 300 block on the north side and I really enjoy living here. I might have lost that home due to difficult circumstances, but I will buy again when I fully financially recover.
The good people definitely outnumber the bad, but the bad is definitely the shadiest people I have ever known.