A few weeks ago, the north end of the Periwinkle Bike Path behind Lowe’s was a mess, with a big mound of bicycle parts and other trash piled up against the wall. Now that spot on the path is clean, or at least it was when I went through there Sunday on the bike.
We can thank the inmate work crew of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office for the welcome change. The city parks department told me it was he sheriff’s crew that tackled the dirty work of removing that pile of stuff and disposing of it, presumably at the landfill.
I didn’t reach the work crew supervisor at the sheriff’s office, so I don’t know when the job was done or how long it took. But since I wrote a report about the mess on Aug. 29 and a follow-up on Sept. 9, it made sense to report the result as well before too much time had gone by.
But as we know, dealing with refuse along that path and in other public places is not a one-time thing. It’s a job that never ends.
Indeed, right near where the big trash pile had been removed, on Sunday the new remnants of a vagrants’ camp littered the other side of the path. (hh)
I’m not sure that using slave labor to do work that otherwise would go to a public employee or contractor is a good idea. You’d think the public employee unions would be raising hell about this situation.
But as long as the County gets reimbursed from the City, and the inmates receive some sort of pay or a reduction in sentence for doing the work, I’m not going to complain too loudly.
Perhaps the program should be expanded to include training to put out city fires, repair city roads, operate garbage trucks, and shelve & check out library books.
Just think of all the city jobs that could be performed by inmates. Such a cost cutting move may balance the city’s budget.
Albany Parks & Rec got the ball rolling. Don’t let it stop there.