Mayor Slay believes in two basic truths about City government. The people of our City will make the right decision if they are informed. Government works best when it listens to the people. I saw that wisdom at work this week when I went to neighborhood meetings in Lafayette Square and later Downtown to explain why the City was going to charge a fee for trash collection. The two discussions were not always comfortable for me. (For instance, I ended up answering questions about the Lure nightclub from April Trupiano, the liquor license holder.) On my original topic, most people had technical questions about how the fee would work, and when they would get new recycling services. No one liked the fee, and not everyone liked what I had to say, but almost everyone was respectful and honest. Clearly, they understood that the mayor is trying in very trying times to keep our neighborhoods strong. I promised the Lafayette Square neighbors that Todd Waelterman, our streets director, would work out a logistical issue caused by the growing number of garages in the alleys. As for the Downtown neighborhood, we agreed that I would bring back a plan to address the new challenges faced by Washington Avenue's incredible popularity, and that no plan would go forward without the input and involvement of the 12,000 people who live Downtown. The mayor is right. He has always been right. But, I am more encouraged than ever that armed with information, our citizens will make the right decision about the earnings tax, and that they are the people who are best qualified to control the St. Louis Police Department.