Thursday, July 3, 2014

Watching grass grow

There, there, in Oakland;
It costs more than $50,000 to mow the lawns at Oakland’s city parks, Councilwoman and Mayoral Candidate Rebecca Kaplan learned at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
Kaplan, responding to complaints that the city was failing to keep its Little League ballfields mowedproposed that the City Council give $50,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department to buy a park-size lawnmower.
The only problem? The Parks Department doesn’t maintain any of the parks — the Public Works Agency does — so they wouldn’t have much use for the lawnmower and they don’t have someone certified to drive it.

Maybe the parents of the kids who want to play ball would volunteer to operate the lawnmower?
So what if the $50,000 went to the Public Works Agency — the department that already has the gardeners and equipment to mow the ball fields? Could they use the $50,000 to keep the fields in better shape?
Well, that wouldn’t work either, said Henry Gardner, the interim City Administrator.
“The cost of Parks and Recreation to do it would be a lot more than $50,000 and $50,000 is not enough for Public Works to go around and mow every ball field,” Gardner said.
So what should Kaplan do with her lawnmover money? Spend the $50,000 on overtime for Public Works gardeners, with the promise that they would focus on mowing ballfields, city bureaucrats said. 
Don't they have any teenagers in Oakland? Pretty clearly they don't have any politicians like Sarah Palin.

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