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Wayne's Words: Careful planning doesn’t always workout

Wayne Horne | 6/8/2017, midnight
wayne@thetimesweekly.com It happens to every homeowner with a lawn. Sooner or later the lawnmower needs to be replaced. A few ...

wayne@thetimesweekly.com

It happens to every homeowner with a lawn. Sooner or later the lawnmower needs to be replaced. A few weeks ago, my 25-year-old mower was showing signs of old-age and I decided to replace it. Being a modern type, I googled “lawnmowers.” After reviewing several in my price range I decided on one with all the features I liked, for the price I was willing to pay. Plus, the free shipping was to my house or the retail store near me. I chose my house.

It worked out well. I was home when the delivery truck came. The driver was happy to see me because he was uncertain how he was going to lift the awkward size box off the truck and to my front door. I helped him scoot it right into my garage.

I proceeded to unbox the machine, perform the minor assembly, fill it with oil and gas. It looked great, had an electric start, one lever to adjust the blade height and it was self-propelled. I was happy with the purchase and moved my old mower to a storage shed in the yard. It was actually a few days later before I could mow due to rain and by then the grass had grown higher than usual. I set the mower to a high setting to accommodate the growth. Too make a long story short, the mower did a lousy job cutting the grass.

I wasn’t happy with the mower and decided to return it directly to the retail outlet that facilitated the online purchase.

I explained to the lawnmower department person that the mower had all the features I wanted, the price was right, and it looked good in my garage. The reason for having a mower was to cut the grass so it looked good. In other words, it looked good in my garage but it did a less than adequate job mowing my lawn.

They accepted the return. I purchased a machine after the person who assisted me in the store made a recommendation for a different mower he was certain I would be satisfied with. The cost was about the same as the returned machine. It happened to be the same brand as my old lawnmower with the same 3-year guarantee as the old one that lasted 25 years and did a great job on my lawn.

It’s a long way around to make the point that even careful planning doesn’t always make for the best end result. I wrote a column about four years ago regarding the Joliet Junior College’s plan to pay for the construction of the downtown Joliet City Center Campus. They raised a $45 million bond issue to make up for the money that was supposed to come from private partnerships and a grant from the State of Illinois that, to date, has yet to materialize.

At the time, officials said student fees and property taxes would not be increased to fund the project. The cost per credit hour at the time was $107 for an In-District Resident. This fall the cost will be $144 per credit hour. By comparison, the cost in 2008 was $80. Property taxes have also been raised several times. You be the judge as to who is funding the cost.