On June 27, my angry letter, in which I accused the Camp Verde Town Council of making poor decisions about the town’s finances and priorities relating to the disappearance of our Camp Verde recycling center in the Bashas’ parking lot, was published in both the Bugle and Verde Independent papers.
I apologize to the Camp Verde Town Council and to the citizens who spent their valuable time and civic interest in reading the paper and specifically reading my commentary for promulgating misinformation.
Despite what I found to be my false accusation, Jackie Baker, a Camp Verde Town Council member, wrote a lovely letter to me in response explaining to me that “it was definitely NOT the Council that decided to stop the recycling, it was Sedona Recycles.
Their reason for the decision was economical ... the cost to continue was no longer profitable for them due to the decline of the price of recyclables.
In this age of political polarizing, an angry response might have been more expected which makes me especially grateful for the gentleness and kindness of Jackie’s response.
Illuminated clearly for me was how easily I accepted, without any further investigation, comments that it was the Camp Verde Town Council’s decision to cancel the recycling because there wasn’t enough money in the coffers.
I simply believed it as though it was gospel. It never occurred to me that the information might be incorrect. It never occurred to me to investigate the statement.
And it certainly never occurred to me to call the town or a council member and confirm what I had been told.
Educated, professional and priding myself on the integrity with which I lived my life, the plain and simple fact that I’d not only believed this misinformation but I’d passed it on, with passion and sincerity – and publicly – was before me.
Misinformation is part of our lives now. Sometimes it’s innocent, sometimes it’s purposefully meant to mislead. Once I heard that the definition of being a human being was having to make decisions without enough information.
With so much information and misinformation out there now how do we pick and choose what information we’ll believe. We pick and choose, for the most part, based on our assumptions about what’s right.
The problem with assumptions is that much of the time we don’t even know we have them or that we’re operating our lives based on them.
I assumed that the Camp Verde Town Council would make a decision that was not aligned with my passion for saving the planet for our children and grandchildren into the future. It didn’t.
From now on I intend to do the best I can to be more aware of my assumptions. And from now on I intend to hold onto my horses and investigate what the truth might be about certain situations that are important to me, like recycling.
I’m grateful for the opportunity of this lesson.