Thursday, November 20, 2008

Speaking of leaf riots in Waukesha

Never let it be said that I'm afraid to run counter to the sentiments of the Waukesha Freeman's readers. In this week's column for the Freeman (well worth the fifty cents), I look at the falling leaf crisis in Waukesha and suggest residents stop their griping.

I suspect I'm in the vast minority who is not unhappy with the city's leaf collection efforts, at least judging from the Sound Off section. Today alone:

This is in regard to the leaf pickup. One reason I am angry is they do the pickups early before the bulk of them have fallen and then when half of that department are off deer hunting, the end of November, there is nobody left to pick up the leaves. Then they want us to bag them. I’m sorry. That upsets me.

(ht: Spring City Chronicle)

Waukesha has three leaf pick ups this year. Not one, not two. Three.

I understand why the city might want to do leaf collection. The leaves clog the sewers. The storm water and snow melt doesn't run off. The water freezes. The next thing you know instead of streets we have extensions to the Eble ice arena.

But three pick ups? How about one? How about a leaf pick-up fee with an opt-out ability? How about contracting with a private service for those homes that opt in?

Would I opt in if I was charged a fee? No way. But some people might, especially those that want four or five pick ups. Charge them per pick up.

If Waukesha isn't big enough for a private company to consider it, let's talk to the Brookfields and the Pewaukees to see if they're interested. Talk to them anyhow and perhaps we can get a reasonable rate for those that want the leaves picked up.

Some things to think about when Fred Abadi asks for the community's input next year.