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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2006
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EDITORIAL

No reason for portable toilet company owner to raise stink

John Bates' argument doesn't hold water.

Mr. Bates says the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce didn't award his portable toilet company the bid for Depot Days because Chamber President Susan Hines has a personal dislike for him.

That's a bunch of, well, you know what.

Mr. Bates' company, Bates Pumping and Line Cleaning of Hartselle, bid $925 to provide 10 portable toilet units and one handicap unit for the annual festival. PBS of Killen in Lauderdale County, a competing company, bid $850.

The Hartselle chamber awarded to bid to PBS, the low bidder.

Mr. Bates believes his Hartselle-based business should receive preferential treatment. He notes that the chamber is promoting a "Shop Hartselle First" campaign.

But Ms. Hines notes that PBS — a dues-paying chamber member — also buys a city business license and has employees that spend money in Hartselle. She said there is nothing personal about the matter; the chamber followed an established purchasing procedure.

It is not the chamber's fault that Mr. Bates' bid was higher. If Mr. Bates wanted the Depot Days business, he should have bid lower. Or he could have done the community a real favor and donated his services.

Mr. Bates makes a big deal about living in Hartselle.

"My family lives here," he told THE DAILY. "I have kids in the Hartselle school system. I graduated from Hartselle. My mother retired from the Hartselle school system. My father works for the Hartselle school system. We eat, sleep and spend almost all our money in Hartselle."

That's all well and good, but it does not entitle Mr. Bates to preferential treatment at the expense of the chamber.

His public complaining doesn't do much for the city's image, either.

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