For Policy not Poses

At last, Moving Forward On Environmentalism & City Government

Isn’t it grand when things come together? On March 8th, I posted a piece on environmentalism that said it would be good if the City encouraged the best yard care practices for residents, saying this, among other things: “What about yard care? I am not proposing that the City regulate it, but only that it pay a little attention and encourage the public in the direction of reasonable practices. Much lawn fertilizer becomes part of runoff and pollutes the Bay. Did you know that the two-cycle lawnmower your lawn-proud neighbor uses once a week in the summer generates much more pollution than a sports utility vehicle? Two-cycle mowers do seem to be on the wane, but even worse, a typical two-cycle leaf blower emits as much pollution as 80 new cars. That pollution, to the extent it isn’t breathed into plants and animals, settles on the ground and becomes part of the run-off too.”

On April 17th, the City posted green household suggestions and a certification survey. It encourages non-polluting mowers, but doesn’t mention leaf blowers. Still, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

On May 17th, I posted a piece on the Market House where I pointed out that the City had chosen their expert trial witnesses to facilitate the planned Market House charette (to be held on Saturday May 30th) and that using their expert trial witnesses wasn’t a good way for the City to learn anything. As I said, “[a]lthough their report is being described by the City as ‘lessons learned,’ that’s very misleading. Expert witnesses in trial have exactly one function — to show that everything bad that happened was somebody else’s fault * * *. Until the litigation is over I can guarantee that they will voice no lessons for the City itself, which would come back to haunt them at trial.”

On or about May 22d, the City ‘s public information officer announced that someone else, apparently unconnected with the litigation, had been selected to facilitate the charette. Annapolis Capital Punishment broke the story.

I continue to urge maximum citizen involvement.

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