Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Leave Leaves Under Trees

Speech to Grants Pass City Council, 10/21/09.

Although we are still without a legally appointed council quorum, city business cannot wait on you to figure out that a council of doubtful legality is worse than none at all, resign, and allow the County Commissioners to immediately and legally appoint a new quorum.  Seasons change, leaves fall, and city staff has yet to receive new direction from the City Council regarding whether those leaves are to be used well, or laboriously cleaned up and thrown away.
I introduced A Resolution Regarding Mulches to the previous council.  Some of you might remember it.  I can only hope that some of you are appointed to the next council and I won’t have to repeat myself too many times.  I include a copy of the Resolution on the back of this speech.
We have free mulch falling constantly from the trees in the parks, and yet in the past, the city has raked them all up and taken them to Jo Gro to turn into compost—and then they don’t even use the compost.  Meanwhile, soil compaction is killing the crowns of mature trees in the parks, because the soil is not fed.
I walk my daughter’s dogs in Westholm Park every morning; lately the leaves and pine needles gathering under the trees have been looking nice.  I would hate to walk down there one morning and find that the leaves have all been cleaned up, naked dirt is showing, and the soil will continue to starve.  Or worse yet, I could go down and find that the leaves have been cleaned up and Red Death spread in their place.
The last council was considering putting this Resolution on their agenda before they were recalled.  I request that you put this on your agenda and allow it to be debated.  I have talked about the subject of toxic fine bark mulch and wasted leaves for several years in city meetings, on radio, and in leaflets, with no debate or apparent opposition, yet the council has yet to take action to stop the city from killing its soil.
We don’t need to waste taxpayer money cleaning up good free mulch and spreading expensive bad mulch.  Killing soil by starvation or toxic mulch doesn’t help rainwater percolate into the ground either.  Please put this Resolution Regarding Mulches on your agenda as soon as possible, before the City cleans up our leaves again.  Or better yet, resign immediately and allow a legally appointed council to handle this apparently uncontroversial matter.

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