During a sunny day in August the mayor of Fishville took his granddaughter to Palm Spring beach which was crowded with tourists. The mayor was sunbathing, relaxing and reading. Suddenly his small granddaughter came to him frightened and upset holding a dead fish in her hands. The mayor was shocked, and he tried to calm down the granddaughter. Soon after, they picked their stuff from the beach and went back to his office, even though it was Sunday. He immediately called the waste management supervisor and asked for explanation. The supervisor replied that everything was well-managed and under control.Dilemma: Excessive sea pollution during the most busy season
The next day, the mayor received a phone call from his friend who worked as a manager in Palm Spring Beach Resort. The manager had received various complaints from different guests regarding the water quality in the hotel area. After the process of examining the sea water, the hotel staff had found other floating objects. From the direction of the streams, they assumed that the main problem was the leakage of the city waste water system.
Unfortunately, the local and international media had already received some hints from tourists, and they were about to disseminate news about water pollution. Some of them already started interviewing local people and tourists regarding this issue, and they wanted a comment from the mayor. The mayor contacted the waste water manager again, and under some pressure he admitted that a pipe had broken. He claimed that the plant did not have enough funds for an optimal maintenance, and the city had cut back even further in connection with the establishment of the golf course and the promenade next to the beach resort. He told the mayor that all staff worked on the issue, and he expected the waste waster spill to stop in 2 or 3 days time.
The promenade was the mayorâ€™s favorite project, and he had gained an immense popularity among the hotel owners. The design by a young Japanese landscape architect had won an international award for the innovative sculpturing and the untraditional use of exotic plants.
The hoteliers were in his office. They told the mayor that they had organized voluntary work teams by calling in staff, relatives, and voluntary people from the area to collect dead fish and garbage from the beach. They put pressure on the mayor to say as little as possible, and try to let the story pass.
The mayor had also had an alarmed call from the hospital, where a small boy had been brought in with severe allergic reactions after having swum in the sea. The chief physician said that he considered setting a ban on swimming, and he was in contact with the national health authorities on the issue.
It was time for the mayor to stand up in front of media and public. He did not feel at ease.