Carnes: Kudos to local government, for a (brief) change |

Carnes: Kudos to local government, for a (brief) change

Who says all governments are run by incompetent boobs?

Sure, some may play political games involving private land that the owners didn’t even realize they owned and bighorn sheep that have spent generations not caring either way, but I’m sure the courts will figure it out one way or another in due time.

Yes, some may spend over $700,000 of our tax dollars on custom rocks one year and over $2 million to remove said rocks to a warehouse and replace them with a flatulating fountain the next, but I’m sure the rock and fountain designers were happy either way.

And yes, some take our tax dollars and use them to purchase subjective art or donate to local charities chosen by their collective whims, but hey, a majority of us voted them into office.

We get what we pay for, so to speak.

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But they’re not all bumbling boobs, as proven last week by the Avon Town Council when it unanimously rejected the mere thought of spending $14 million of our tax dollars to build a little more than $3 million worth of public bathrooms.

Yep, public bathrooms, those claustrophobic little cold spaces that are usually damp, dirty, poorly lit yet used by every single one of us regardless of one’s claimed personal ability to “hold it” until they make it home.

When you gotta go, you gotta go, even in a stinky “I hope this thing doesn’t tip over” porta potty.

It works out to over a quarter of a million bucks for each of the 41 stalls they planned for on the east side of the park, and more than double that — almost $600,000 — per stall for six on the north side near the beach and volleyball courts.

That’s a lot of bang for the buck (“dollars for doody” sounds more appropriate), but no matter how you phrase it, it is a crime against humanity, or at the very least a violation of common sense and decency when it comes to proper uses of tax dollars.

Shouldn’t there at least be a discount since they’re all so close to the sewage treatment plant?

Freshly crowned mayor Amy Phillips is to be congratulated, along with the rest of the elected members of the council, for spearheading the immediate and unanimous vote telling outside contractors where to flush their proposal.

Though not the first local council to show good fiscal sense, Avon was the first in the valley to address the affordable housing issue with more than just talk. They provided the first trailer park for workers, the first Walmart, the first traffic light (which thankfully no longer exists), the first Starbucks, the first high-rise, the first real family recreation center, and the first to tell a Denny’s to take a hike. They were first in the bridge naming business (never forget “Bob”) and the first mountain town smart enough to outlaw strip joints before some sleazebag with too much capital opened one over near Carbondale back in the ’90s.

All we have to do is wait for the long-promised recession to kick into high gear, thus allowing local contractors to start feeling the pinch of limited projects, and the town will then be inundated with low-bid offers to build basic poop sheds for, oh, I don’t know, I’m not an engineer, but let’s say under $100,000 per stall.

Seems reasonable, right?

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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