Tuesday, June 02, 2009

City Officials Watching Grass Grow

Sometimes I wonder if those that work at city hall just have too much time on their hands. Take the latest project to keep Canada’s largest city green – but not too green.

They have hired a handful of – for a lack of better term, let’s call them grass inspectors – to drive around, ruler in hand, and measure the length of lawns in and around the city. If the grass is over 20 cm, they will issue a warning.

Those who have too much to do to keep their lawns down to the required height, will have three-days from the issuance of the warning to cut the grass, otherwise the city will do it for them, and bill them for the work.

This is similar to the law requiring those in the fair city of Toronto, ON., Canada to remove fallen snow from walkways and driveways within 24-hours of a snow storm, otherwise the city will do it and again bill the offender.

However, unlike snow which is a safety concern, overgrown grass isn’t likely to cause someone to slip and fall. Though if someone were to fall on a grassy green field, one would hope there was enough of the green stuff to cushion the fall.

Joking aside, in the midst of this economic nightmare, aren’t there more important things our publicly funded civil servants can be doing, than simply watching grass grow?

Whatever happened to all those job creation strategies the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, promised months ago? Unless those going out and measuring the green spaces are part of that program – but that doesn’t say much for re-training unemployed people in high demand or future demand roles.

I know, maybe all of those people looking for work in Toronto have been hired by the ruler makers, thanks to the City of Toronto? After all, more measuring sticks will be required to keep track of the length of all those grassy fields.

Then there are those who the city will need to actually mow the lawns, and then no doubt, water them once those negligent in their upkeep fail to do that as well.

Overgrown grass can be unsightly, and lead to angry neighbours, but it is hardly an offence worthy of our civil servants constant scrutiny – unless you happen to be one of those inspecting the green stuff.

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