An undetermined number of Croton residents are unhappy with the Mayor’s plan to inject chemical additives into Croton’s famously pure water. In the absence of any questionnaire circulated among residents, the exact number of people who are for or against this proposal has not been determined.
Freedom of choice is one of the benefits of democracy. We are free to get a flu shot or to decline to get one. We are free to send our children to public schools, private schools, and church schools or to school them at home. We are free to vote or not to vote, although too many of us are too lazy to show up at the polls.
Crotonblog detects signs indicating that additives are now a done deal. What is so annoying about the present controversy is that freedom of choice is being taken from the residents of Croton and placed in the hands of three elected officials, none of whom are health professionals or biochemists.
If a national bottling company were to approach Croton with a proposal to bottle Croton’s water, this village would fall over itself to facilitate such a venture. It has even considered—although not very seriously—the idea of bottling Croton water itself. A bottling company, we might add, would only be interested in Croton water before chemical additives were injected into it.
It so happens that the presence of chemical additives has no effect on the human body in water used for dishwashing, clothes washing, bathing and showering, even tooth brushing because no water is ingested in the process. Crotonblog has devised a plan so beautiful in its simplicity and practicality that the Schmidt administration would be foolish to turn it down.
Under Crotonblog’s plan residents could obtain “old-fashioned” Croton water without derailing the proposal to inject additives into the water. Because the additive program requires a separate building, there would be ample opportunity for the village to divert water before the chemical additives are injected.
Crotonblog’s plan would work as follows: The village would “invest” in a supply of five-gallon jerrycans, similar to the model pictured below, such as are used by the military. These would be filled at the pumping station with old-fashioned Croton water. The filled jerry cans would be transported to the municipal garage, a location already used for pickup of village-supplied recycling products.
Jerrycans filled with potable Croton water would be purchasable at the municipal garage by Croton residents during usual business hours. A nominal deposit would be added initially to cover the cost of the jerrycan. Upon return of the empty jerrycan no additional deposit would be required. This is not unlike the arrangements at the independent small breweries springing up all across the country (see Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Pleasantville, New York).
The village seeks income-producing schemes like the station parking lot. Although the income produced by selling water and five-gallon units might be modest, the village might be surprised at the size of the profit generated. As we said, the village would fall all over itself to accommodate a national bottling company wishing to purchase original Croton water in an unadulterated state. Why not do the same for Croton’s taxpaying residents?
Crotonblog foresees a brisk business in old-fashioned Croton water. The beauty part of this idea is that both factions would be accommodated. Those who have no objection to ingesting additives could drink and use all the additive-laden water they want in cooking, Those who prefer not to ingest chemical additives would have an unlimited supply of potable water for drinking and cooking.
And both factions could live happily ever after—or at least until 2009 when the question of additives could become an issue in the next mayoral election.