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As Townsend taxpayers, our property taxes will go up to pay for a high school that our family has no need for. We pay excise taxes on vehicles and yet every road leading to our home is covered with potholes. If our property taxes need to be raised for painless garbage removal, raise them! It would be a pleasant change to pay more taxes for something we actually receive.

Our federal tax dollars will temporarily fund the recycling enforcement officer position. We hope this position is temporary and not eventually funded permanently and directly by Townsend taxpayers. Now we face more stringent garbage limits. We regard garbage pickup as a basic service. It should be funded with tax dollars and not additional “pay-as-you-throw” funds. Garbage should be collected without fear of $100 fines or turning ourselves into part-time and unpaid Townsend sanitation workers.

As with most “one-size-fits-all” government proclamations, there are unintended consequences. We already live on a back country road that frequently has an old TV or sofa dumped at night. Some of these items have been around long enough for bushes to grow around them. Given the choice of an old sofa or a family’s bag of “overflow” refuse, we prefer the sofa. In the spring, we picked up four industrial garbage bags of roadside garbage. We don’t mind picking up someone else’s garbage in our neighborhood. We prefer not to look at it all year long. However, we refuse to pay Townsend even more money to take away someone else’s garbage. Therefore, unless it is on our property, the garbage stays there!

We prefer Townsend police focus on serious crime and suspect they would, too. We’d rather officers not expose themselves unnecessarily to biohazards sifting through garbage looking for “clues” to find “perpetrators” who out of desperation were forced to illegally rid themselves of the family garbage.

We foresee businesses with Dumpsters or public garbage cans having to remove their cans and pay to have their Dumpsters locked/gated as they are ripe targets for overflow family refuse. As a result, there will be even more garbage tossed out car windows.

We would like the (health board) to know that an empty cardboard case for beverages in our recyclables is not an “indicator that our household may be violating the regulation,” but an indication our household is taking aluminum cans to a recycling business and receiving payment to pay for our “overflow” bags. Our plastics will be recycled at Hannaford for the same purpose.

Townsend’s recycling ordinance is disclosed when a buyer purchases a home. Townsend’s 64-gallon weekly limit must be disclosed. That family with kids moving to Townsend so their children may attend a new high school will struggle to stay under the 64-gallon limit, face mandatory recycling with punitive fines and pay for overflow garbage bags, making Townsend a family-unfriendly place to live.

Unintended consequences.

Townsend residents

Names withheld to avoid being

targeted by recycling enforcement officer