‘I just want to kill weeds’ director tells environmentally-conscious Council

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He just wanted to kill some weeds. But an environmentally conscious Bremerton City Council told Public Works Director Chal Martin last Wednesday they wanted to make certain that green practices were followed as part of an upcoming maintenance project.

At issue was a $44,000 contract with Superior Maintenance Solutions to apply herbicide and eliminate weeds that are growing out of city sidewalks. The work is a pilot project for the city.

The project includes the weeding and cleaning of sidewalks around the city, as well as tree and shrub trimming around the sidewalks.

But most members of the Council were concerned what herbicide would be used.  Glyphosate, used in products like Roundup, is called for the in the contract.

That got the Council inquiring. Were there alternatives? Why not just use vinegar and water to get rid of the weeds? Could we run a test to see if said vinegar would be as effective?

Martin said he’d look into it. His reaction was, as best I can put it, one of slight exasperation.

“I just want to kill weeds,” Martin said to conclude the discussion.

The contract with  Superior Maintenance Solutions, which still calls for Glyphosate, or some alternative of it, will likely be passed Wednesday at the Council’s regular meeting at the Norm Dicks Government Center. Meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. The full meeting agenda for Wednesday can be found here.

5 thoughts on “‘I just want to kill weeds’ director tells environmentally-conscious Council

  1. Fish catching fisherman, fisherman catching fish, vinegar and water to kill weeds (weeds are laughing their roots off here) or using actual weed killing chemicals as directed by professionals?

    I am astounded at the weight of the issues the Bremerton City Council chooses to “get down in the weeds” with their own involvement about. The sporadic need to “fish” for additional random solutions, does tend to “hook” additional exasperation from a lot of people.

  2. Glyphosate is a nasty chemical, one I don’t want in the ground or the water in Bremerton. Nor anywhere else, for that matter. Here’s a radical idea — why doesn’t the Bremerton City Council hire homeless people, disadvantaged youth, and long-term unemployed people to walk the sidewalks to pull the weeds? All that money would go right back into the economy, and the weeds would be gone. For a while. The weeds would be back just as soon after glyphosate application, but this way just seems much healthier to me.

  3. It is called Risk Management. That along with various city and state laws that factor in when it comes to the legality of attempting to subvert or circumvent existing and established hiring practices, union employee protections and set pay scales.

  4. Interestingly enough, we’ve had this issue as recently as last year. The community was regularly updated and quite engaged with making their thoughts, concerns, and demands known. And of course, some ended up suing. Though the school district was the entity involved, the information, organisational and community efforts, and results are beneficial for Bremertonians who aren’t satisfied with the vote and want to bring more options to the fore for a revised decision.

    I always find it interesting that such a small county and region (compared to many other places in which I’ve lived or worked internationally) doesn’t share information and best practises with one another so they aren’t reinventing the wheel. City Council and others in Bremerton would no doubt be welcome if they sought input from those who’ve been down this road and aggregated facts to date.

    (1)http://www.sustainablebainbridge.org/weed-warriors.aspx
    (2)http://www.insidebainbridge.com/2013/04/30/chemicals-in-bainbridge-parks-and-schools-roundup-of-the-facts/
    (3)http://www.insidebainbridge.com/tag/herbicide/
    (4)http://watoxics.org/healthy-living/healthy-families/healthy-schools/success-stories/bainbridge-ipm

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