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Phase out gas powered garden tools as par of the Menlo Park Climate Action Plan in 2020

From: domainremoved <Lisa>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 23:32:34 +0000 (UTC)

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Menlo Park Goal Setting Meeting: Public comments Jan 30th 2020

Public Comment on Banning Gas Gardening Equipment in Menlo Park

My name is Lisa Williams and I have been a Menlo Park resident for 33 years.

What am I here for? I’m here for a city that is progressive, and ready to take action when necessary - to that end I see progress measured by our “quality of life”.

That brings me to gas powered garden tools. In Menlo Park we seem to have mastered the art of living with the unacceptable, but staring us in the face is the climate change crisis necessitating action, ergo phasing out gas garden tools. Fortunately, many other cities are leading the way, having legislated bans on their use. We all know the science is there to back this up.

Over the past year, my associate and I have spoken with various Menlo Park city representative on this issue. Their reasons for not addressing it include:

- It will be a long process.

- The optics are extremely challenging given the history (a city ban over 20 years ago overturned by a referendum). Why don’t you both, as citizens put it on the ballot!

- It will take city resources away from other high priority projects

- Unenforceable, once a ban is put in place. After speaking with the MP police department they confirmed that, per the current ordinance they successfully respond when called and they do not consider current infractions unenforceable.

- Gas leaf blowers do not have a sufficient carbon impact to warrant inclusion in the Menlo Park Climate Action Plan

Some of the above may be true, although IMO insufficient reasons to do nothing hoping the State takes action. Bottom line is, the longer this not addressed, the poorer the “quality of life” in Menlo Park becomes.

The garden service industry is also as a stakeholder in this issue. Their interest, out of economic necessity is driven by short-term profit & loss. However, the long-term impact to their health must not be ignored.

For gardeners not currently working in cities with bans, replacing gas tools with electric tools, without subsidies means they bear the cost. If we agree that health, the environment, and quality of life are relevant and important, this becomes a cost of doing business responsibly. Gardeners have every right to raise their rates to cover these costs. Menlo Park is an affluent city; residents that can afford gardeners can afford to pay more to offset these costs. It should also be noted that in long term, the cost of running battery-operated garden equipment is much less than that of equivalent gas powered equipment.

For the City there will be the cost of enforcing a ban. This would be reduced over time if the homeowners are responsible for citations, because after one or two citations home owners would hire gardeners in compliance. So, what will it take to prioritize this ban? Thank you.
Received on Thu Jan 30 2020 - 15:39:20 PST

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