In this time of budget deficits and hard decisions on how to address them, symbolism counts. Before the state legislature starts raising taxes and cutting some key services, perhaps it should look in its own house. This past December, the General Assembly signed a new, 5-year, $97,400 contract with Poland Springs for those portable water coolers throughout the legislative office building and the capitol.
First, there is serious debate over whether water from those big, blue bottles on top of the coolers are any healthier than water from the tap. And then there is the question of why the taxpayers are ponying-up nearly hundred grand to pay for LOB and capitol workers to stay hydrated. The simplest answer is: If you want bottled water, bring your own!
Of course $97,400 is not a lot of money in a multibillion dollar budget. But it’s the symbolism and appearance that counts.