Finding Solutions or “There’s More than One Way to Skin a Rat”

Posted on August 23, 2012


I feel obligated to write about Tuesday’s informal meeting of the Ordinance Committee called to discuss the rat/trash problem we have in Lynn. After all, Councilor Darren Cyr invited me and I got to sit at the big table. I even got to speak my piece.

Part of me feels like “This is family business–don’t let any outsiders know!” The other part of me screams, “You’ve just got to write about this! Let it all hang out, Running With Scissors style!” Anyway you look at it, the rat’s out of the bag.

But I am convinced that a blow-by-blow description on this blog would be a disservice. You can go watch it on Lynn Happens if you want to though or read about it in the Item. Chris Stevens does an admirable job of capturing the mood in the room. By the way, great assist by Thor Jourgensen writing the companion piece.

So how do we find a solution to our rat/trash problem? Did I say “a” solution? That’s wrong. Drop the article and make the object plural. We need to “find solutions.”

See, just a little adjustment, and it’s not so daunting anymore.  It’s not one magical solution out there waiting for us to painstakingly find it. Instead, there are solutions. We have to attack this problem from more than one angle. So let’s cooperate and find ways to let our solutions add to each other. 

It’s not just an ordinance that needs rewriting or an automated trash collection plan that needs implementing or neighborhood clean-ups. It could be all of these things, none of them, or all of them and more.

Watch the video to see how good intentions get derailed. Then be grateful that at least we’re trying to solve the problem–at least we’re passionate about it–and resolve to do your part. If you’ve already been doing your part, don’t complain, but do your part some more.

We all want the same thing. We just disagree on the best way to get there.

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But the wheel is broken, and we need to fix it.

Posted in: local government